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Garda Ken rows to new heights for sick children

My name is Ken Mc Donald and I’m a Garda training instructor at the Templemore Garda Training College in Thurles.

Last year I met the founder of the Share a Dream Foundation Shay Kinsella and to say I was blown away by the amazing work being done by the charity for seriously ill and disabled children all over Ireland for the last 27yrs is an understatement.

Not only so Share a Dream make dreams come true for children fighting terrible life threatening illnesses they have built the magical indoor very first ever all- inclusive Fun Centre called Dreamland. Dreamland allows disabled children for the first time ever play alongside their able bodied siblings and friends so for their parents it’s a dream come true. All of this work without receiving any government funding and solely relying on the goodwill of the community.

BREAK IN: So, when the charity suffered two major break-ins last year to Dreamland causing thousands of euros worth of damages I decided that I must do something to raise much needed funds for repairs and to make dreams come true for terminally ill children while raising more national awareness that the charity deserves.

FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE: Rowing is my passion and I have been so fortunate in my career to have broken the World indoor record over 1000m last November at the Provincial rowing Championships,; won the Rhine marathon in Germany in a men’s coxed quad, won two Gold medals at the World Masters rowing championships in Budapest Hungary and the list goes on. So, whatever I decided to do it had to be associated with rowing. So, after witnessing the amazing courage and determination that the children endure daily to find some quality in life I decided I would challenge myself to the limit for Share a Dream.

CARRAUNTOOHILL: On the 28th of March I will be attempting to carry my rowing machine (weighing 26kgs/4stone) up Carrauntoohill plus row 10km when I reach the top before descending. My aim is to raise €30,000 for the Share a Dream Foundation to rectify the damages they suffered after the break ins and so that they can continue making dreams come true for very sick children.

SPONSORSHIP: Will you join me in raising funds for Share a Dream. You can register for a sponsorship pack by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. In your local gym or workplace – a sponsored cycle on stationery bike or rowing machine, a sponsored head shave/beard shave or why not get out with the kids and go for a walk or a climb in your local area. Support Ken in raising funds for Share a Dream and challenge yourself in any event no matter how small. You can also donate online at https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11382942_kenneth-mc-donald-s-page.html.

 

 

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A special day for Louis and his family

Little 5yr old Louis Walsh from Castlebar, Mayo is a wonderful bright, lively, little boy full of the joys of life but fortunately is unaware of the difficult future ahead of him. Louis has a rare genetic condition “Duchene Muscular Dystrophy” which involves the progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles, and at the moment he is currently walking but needs a wheelchair from time to time.

However, now Louis is full of life and like all children he wants to play and have fun with his siblings and friends but he is limited to where he can go because of his condition.

Louis mother Anne Marie contacted Share a Dream to see if there was anything they could do to bring a little magic into the life of their. So, Louis along with all his family travelled to Limerick last weekend before heading to Dreamland on Sunday the 18th June 2017.

Louis and his family arrived to Dreamland play centre that was closed to the public for Louis special visit: a bus load of the Share a Dream Mayo Dream Team also joined them in Dreamland, where Louis had the chance to meet Spiderman, his favourite character.

 “When we contacted Robbie, the Share dream committee in Mayo, we did not believe that Share a Dream would do this for our son and for all of us. Louis is such a good little lad but he is going through so much with his illness so we are forever grateful for these memories and we will cherish them forever”, said Mum Anne Marie. 

United States Adoption Group celebrate the 4th of July in Dreamland

The USA adoption group “USAG” chose “Share a Dream” Dreamland Limerick to host the inauguration of their new group “USAG”, for Irish families who have adopted children from USA, plus celebrate the 4th of July.

“What better occasion than the 4th of July to have our first inaugural meeting and so we wanted to go somewhere really special, so when we saw the report in the Irish Times that Share a Dream – Dreamland was one of the top play areas in the country and the only indoor facilities of it’s kind it seemed perfect” said Sean from Galway.

Families travelled from all over Ireland to meet and have fun and what we found was a dream come true for children and adults alike.

“I can honestly say in all our travels we have not found a play centre to match “Dreamland Limerick”. It is amazing and Limerick and the Mid-West are so lucky to have such a wonderful facility for all the family to enjoy and full credit to Shay Kinsella and Share a Dream.” he continued. “This 4th of July was a very moving memorable experience. Thank you Share a Dream and Dreamland Limerick.”

A magical meeting at Dreamland for seriously ill little boy

8yr old from Dublin who is fighting an inoperable Brain tumour had a dream to visit Disneyland but sadly because of his terrible illness he was unable to travel.

When his Aunt Susan wrote to Share a Dream to ask if there was anything they could do to bring a little happiness into his painful and traumatic young life, the charity immediately got to work to give the family a happy memory having fun together.

“For very sick children like this we try to move heaven and earth to make their fondest dreams come true” said Ciara Brolly, Projects manager.

So, the 12th June this boy and all his family arrived from Dublin to the beautiful Castletroy Park hotel, Limerick and the following day they travelled along with a Garda Escort to “Dreamland Limerick” Fun centre where the entire facility was open for this young boy, his siblings, cousins and friends to bring Disney to him and make his fondest dream come true. He met all the characters at Dreamland – Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Woody, Minion and of course his favourite teenage mutant ninja turtles, Leonardo.

“We were broken hearted when we could not get him out to Disney but Dreamland is a much better option for us as it includes all the family, it’s in Limerick and it’s magical. Thank you so much Share a Dream,” said Susan, his aunt.

“Thank you so much to Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick Traffic Corps and all who helped in any way to give one young boy and his family a very happy memory that will help get them through tough times ahead” said the Founder Shay Kinsella.

Sarah's Bedroom Make over

Sarah Carty is a young 12yr old from Ballyrickard, Tralee, Co Kerry.

Sarah was first diagnosed in Aug 2010 with Leukaemia.  Sarah went through 2yrs of intense treatment. Sadly however in May 2014 Sarah relapsed and had to undergo more treatment again: Sarah’s treatment has finished now.

Sarah contacted Share a Dream Founder Shay Kinsella to see if they could make her dream come true of a bedroom makeover. According to Sarah “My dream is to ride a unicorn over a rainbow but I know that’s a bit hard so instead I would like for you to do my bedroom up. Now I’ve been doing it up a bit so I would love you to finish it off for me”.

So, after contacting Interior Designer Kate Campbell a team of carpenters, painters etc all came together to transform this little girl’s room into her magical kingdom.

“We can’t wait to see Sarah’s face on Wednesday the 24th May when she arrives home from school to open her bedroom door and see the magical room that awaits her”, said Project Manager for Share a Dream Ciara Brolly. “We can’t thank all the wonderful Team involved in making this dream a reality for Sarah in particular Kate Campell and Grace O’ Donnell plus the Dream Team of sponsors - Noyekes Tralee; Robert Harris carpentry; Danny Lynch painting & Decorating; E F signs Unicorn wall mural; McElligot's Furniture  Castleisland; Corcorans furniture Manor Tralee Staff at Next Manor Tralee; Smyths Toys Tralee; Higgins recycling Tralee; Pat Mc Donnell's paint  Manor Tralee.”, she continued.

Dreamland Opens

Dreamland opened its doors with great success, welcoming The Miwest School for the Deaf and UTV Ireland on its very first day. 

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