'Do it for Dan': Cork GAA club raising funds for one-year-old with a rare disease

'Do it for Dan': Cork GAA club raising funds for one-year-old with a rare disease
Newmarket GAA is fundraising for Dan Donoher (1) who has a rare genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and Scoliosis.

Little Dan is suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 as well as scoliosis.

SMA is essentially a muscle wasting disease which causes infants to have difficulty moving, eating, breathing, and swallowing.

Describing the day he was diagnosed, his parents Niall and Aisling, said their "whole world came crashing down". 

"Our hearts were broken. Like all parents, you have so many hopes and dreams for your children. 

"Dan is a funny, bubbly little boy who has such a twinkle in his eye. 

"He is such a happy and brave boy despite all this," they said.

Dan has recently just turned one and his life expectancy is barely beyond that. 

Niall and Aisling are currently raising money to fund medical treatment that costs $2.1 million. 

The medical intervention needed is a cell infusion and is only available in the States.

With some fundraising activities hampered as a result of the current pandemic, Newmarket GAA club has stepped up to help the Donoher family. 

Club members will be taking on a 500km challenge in just one day, which will see participants running either 5km or 10km each within a 2km radius of their home.

The club has also recruited some GAA stars to partake in the challenge, including Briege Corkery, Doireann O'Sullivan and Deirdre O'Brien.

"Niall, Aisling and their son Dan are in a battle that no family should ever have to face. 

"Dan’s parents both played GAA and represented their club and county with pride. 

"Hopefully, the GAA community will get behind them and try raising vital funds needed for Dan to get this vital treatment," Newmarket GAA Club wrote on their GoFundMe page. 

Newmarket GAA's fundraiser is one of many initiatives led by businesses, clubs and individuals as part of the #DoItForDan campaign. 

So far, over €1.5 million has been raised for Dan's treatment as a result of these efforts. 

If you would like to donate to Newmarket GAA's fundraiser for Dan visit their GoFundMe page:


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