Monday 20 November 2017

Rebel Riders hit road in aid of little fighters

Jason O'Brien

Jason O'Brien

The Irish conjoined twins born late last year continue to bask in the limelight, meeting Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin over the weekend ahead of a charity motorcycle run in their aid next month.

Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, along with their mother Angie and father Azzedine, met Mr Martin in Little Island in Cork on Saturday.

A charity motorcycle run -- organised by the Rebel Riders MCC -- will take place on March 7 between Midleton and Dungarvan.

The twins' uncle, Jason Keating, is a member of the motorcycle club and said that the fundraising was necessary so that the Benhaffafs could afford an extended stay in London when the boys are to be separated later this year.

"The reality is that this is going to cost a fair bit of money," he said.

Ms Benhaffaf has said that her family was "broke but morally rich" after turning down lucrative offers for exclusive photo rights to her sons, and instead allowing access to all media outlets for free.

And the Benhaffafs have set up a special account -- The Little Fighters Fund -- to cope with the donations and offers of help. The couple have been so moved by the flood of cards and donations that they have also started a special album and include every single message in it.

The album will be the centrepiece of their vigil in London when surgeons attempt the 20-hour procedure on the boys, who are joined at the chest.

"This book has everyone in it from Heather Mills to Ryan Tubridy and President Mary McAleese as well as doctors and nurses and many others," said Ms Benhaffaf.

The Little Fighters account is at the Permanent TSB's Patrick Street branch in Cork: sort code 99-07-03 and account no: 16556196.

Irish Independent

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