Parents launch appeal to fulfil Mark's wish to walk
A family has launched an appeal to raise €75,000 to help their three-year-old son secure pioneering treatment in the US to allow him to walk.
Kevin and Fidelma Dolan admitted they were desperate to raise the remaining €75,000 to allow their son, Mark, undergo the revolutionary procedure having mortgaged themselves to the hilt to raise €60,000 of the €135,000 total cost.
But the parents say they won't rest until Mark has every chance of walking and living a normal life.
Mark has been assessed as an ideal candidate for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at a clinic in St Louis, Missouri.
The clinic has already helped several other Irish children suffering from conditions such as cerebral palsy and motor delay syndrome (MDS), which Mark suffers from, to escape reliance on wheelchairs and enjoy the miracle of walking. However, the procedure is not funded by the HSE.
"We owe it to Mark to give him every chance of walking like any other child," Kevin said.
"This SDR treatment is Mark's best chance of being able to walk and not being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life."
The family have now launched a 'Mark's Wish To Walk' campaign complete with a Facebook page and donation account: AIB Athlone A/C No 48349059 Sort Code 93-22-64.
Businessmen, sports clubs and community groups have backed the appeal which aims to raise the outstanding €75,000 so Mark can have his procedure by next autumn.