A new children's book created by staff at Logitech in Cork which aims to raise €18,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation has been dedicated to a young Cork girl called Molly Daly who battles a rare disorder called Kabuki syndrome.
Molly (9) from the north side of Cork city has the multisystem disorder which impacts on various parts of the body. It can cause skeletal abnormalities, short stature, heart defects and a general failure to thrive.
Her mother, Olivia, says that Molly was diagnosed with Kabuki syndrome at the tender age of two.
"She had heart surgery when she was five days old. She had two cleft palate repairs. She was peg fed until she was three. She has been more than most adults have been through.
But she is the most happy and content little girl. With this (the book) she says 'Mum I am famous.' It (Make a Wish) is a fantastic charity."
Molly is "like a little celebrity" since the book, which went on sale today, was published.
The book is called "Molly the Mouse" and was written, designed and illustrated by staff at tech company Logitech.
Logitech, which makes computer mice, recorded a version of the book for Molly so that she can enjoy listening to it on her new iPad given to her by Make a Wish Foundation Ireland.
In the book Molly the Mouse goes on six adventures with her pals. Through her adventures, Molly learns a lot about being kind, creative and how important it is to care about others.
Meanwhile, Aisling Connolly, who is one of the three Logitech Cork site leads for the LogiCares programme, said they had to come up with an innovative idea for their charity programme this year.
Ms Connolly says that they chose Make a Wish Foundation because the charity urgently needs vital funds. Sick children or children with terminal illnesses cannot have their wishes put on the long finger. Many children do not have the luxury of waiting for Covid to pass to have their wishes granted.
Aisling says that normally staff at Logitech carry out hands-on charity work. However, this year they had to think outside the box with the book being created by fifty volunteers who were communicating from their homes by Zoom.
She says staff at Logitech normally volunteer their manpower.
"For the last three years, we have done events in the Simon Community, Cobh Community Hospital and the Cork Down Syndrome Centre. We made an outside garden for the Cork Down Syndrome Centre. Normally it is gardening or painting. But with Covid we couldn't do any hands-on stuff.
"We loved the idea of doing a book for children. We put a plan in place and broke it down and managed it with fifty people.
"We created three-story concepts teams. We pitched it in September and decided on using a Mouse as the main character as we are forty years making computer mice. We made it all about life lessons for children."
Aisling says they used the different strengths of staff to produce the product in record time. They reached out to the printers and were given the deadline of October 30th to have the book ready for publishing for the Christmas market.
Ms Connolly says it has been a really tough year for the Make a Wish Foundation.
"All the normal avenues of fundraising have been shut down. Companies normally do annual events to raise money for them and Covid has stopped all that. They are trying to fast track wishes. It is heart-wrenching.
"So we just started reaching out to people who could help.
"High Street forwarded an act of kindness to Make a Wish by distributing the book free of charge. As did SuperValu.”
They decided to call the main character after Molly Daly because she is such an inspirational girl with a great attitude to life.
Molly was supposed to go to Disneyland Paris under the Make a Wish Foundation programme. Unfortunately, her wish couldn't be granted because of Covid but she has been given an iPad by the foundation.
Aisling says that it warms the heart of the team at Logitech to think about how much the book means to Molly.
"She is a dotey little girl. She is loving all the attention and fuss. We are thrilled with it."
Ryan's Supervalu in Cork with branches in Togher, Grange and Glanmire and Ryan's Centra in Raheen in Limerick have agreed to stock the book along with High Street books. The book, which has six chapters and a colouring area, costs €12 with all the proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.
Aisling says it is a perfect stocking filler.
"The stories take about ten minutes to read. And it's a handy book to put in your handbag for your child when you are out and about.
"Our team had so much fun making this. We never imagined that we would make a children's book.
"One of the lads in the illustration team Patrick Crowley, himself and his daughter Aoife did some of the drawings. Which was great to have her involved. We are so pleased with how it all turned out given we did it in just five weeks."
Molly the Mouse can be purchased online at HERE
Further information about the project can be obtained at the Molly Mouse Facebook page.