Cara's got the wow factor!
Published 15/04/2014 | 05:40
Riverstown schoolgirl Cara Tighe has defied to odds to walk to school.
Cara who was born with cerebral palsy which affects her mobility.
But despite her difficulties in walking, she has just taken part in An Taisce's National Walk to School week.
And the first class pupil from Ardkeeran NS will now represent Ireland as the first ever national WOW (Walk on Wednesdays) girl.
Cara will inspire kids nationwide to walk to school on National WOW day, Wednesday 14th May.
Cara has to get phsiotherapy sessions in Limerick at a cost of €300 per week to help with her walking.
Professionals believe it will take Cara two years to master the skill.
Now, An Taisce has decided to support Cara's fundraising campaign, 'Cara's Dream to Walk.'
Cara's mother Majella said: "Cara wholeheartedly got involved in Ardkeeran NS's promotion of active travel.
"Last Spring we started to park about a kilometre from the school at Cara's grandparents house.
From there Cara cycled her purpose built bike to school, joining in with everyone else who was walking. And she loved it."
The turning point for Cara was when the School competed in the National Cross Border Walking Challenge in May 2013.
Imelda Ryan-Jones, An Taisce Travel Education Officer said: "I will never forget that morning.
"Cara touched the hearts of everyone, pupils, parents, teachers and other residents who saw her that morning.
"Instead of cycling from her grandparent's house about a kilometre from school, she walked holding onto her Mammy.
"I'm still emotional, over a year later, thinking back on that morning."
Majella said: "When it isn't raining, Cara will ask through her Lámh sign language to walk.
"It gives her so much pleasure, the feeling that she is one of the gang, the effort is so worth it."
Cara's teacher, Joanne McHugh said: "Cara is a real inspiration to us all. "
Local councillor Martin Baker, Treasurer of Cara's Dream to Walk, said: "People can donate directly to Cara's Dream to Walk by sending a cheque made out to Cara's Dream to Walk, to my office c/o Cllr. Martin Baker, Riverstown, Co Sligo."