A BRAVE child who watched Winning Streak from his hospital bed while battling a lifelong illness has been contacted by the gameshow’s producers with a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Winning Streak superfan, Cian Hennessy from Togher, has been invited for a special tour of the RTÉ set following a difficult year of hospital appointments. Despite battling everything from meningitis to the MRSA bug, Cian, a wheelchair user with spina bifida, hydrocephalus and scoliosis, never misses an episode of the popular show.
He will now get to see it play out in real time as an audience member before meeting the show’s presenters.
“Cian isn’t into toys,” his mum Valerie explained.
“It’s always been Winning Streak.”
The 10-year-old is also a dedicated Fair City fan and was recently asked to appear on the Late Late Show to discuss his love of the soap.
Unfortunately, he was ill in hospital and unable to attend. Nonetheless, his mum said the Winning Streak visit has given them something to look forward to.
“There isn’t a week goes by that Cian doesn’t have an appointment. He has already had 20 major surgeries in his life. Last year, in particular, was a very tough year. I really don’t know where the love of Winning Streak comes from but every week, after his swimming lessons, we get him straight into his PJs to watch it.”
Not even illness can get in the way of Cian’s Saturday evening guilty pleasure.
“The nurses in the hospital have got to know his routine and always make sure to have it on for him. If they have a moment, they will watch it with him. They think it’s hilarious. One of my friends recently came to see him and he asked if she could go into another room and come back when it was over.”
Winning Streak evenings at home are no different.
“Everyone who knows us knows not to call or phone when Winning Streak is on. My mum has, on occasion, rang him on his mobile outside of these hours only to be told that he’s watching a recording back.”
Cian is looking forward to the day he’s old enough to buy his own Winning Streak scratch cards.
“His one request when he’s in hospital is always ‘can you pick me up a scratch card?’
“Cian is obviously not 18 yet so it’s something I have to do with him but he’ll ask for one every week. We’re always hoping for the three stars so we can send it off.”
Cian began watching Winning Streak and Fair City while at his grandmother’s house.
“The two of them have always been the best of friends,” Valerie said.
Valerie hopes to make a weekend of the trip to make memories for her other sons too, Aaron (8) and Jamie (5).
“It’s really important that we try to do nice things and take time out as a family. A lot of children with hydrocephalus love routine so this probably has a lot to do with it too. He’ll give out when the person doesn’t win the big money.”