A Cork family have launched a fundraiser in the hopes of raising enough money to cover the costs of life-changing surgery for their five-year-old daughter.
Five-year-old Ali Murphy was diagnosed with spastic diplegia Cerebral Palsy at 18 months.
For Ali, it is mainly her legs that are affected as she has tightness or spasticity which means that she is unable to stand or walk on her own.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, however, there is a surgery that can help her to gain more independence.
This surgery, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), will remove the spasticity in Ali's muscles, making it easier for her to move.
“She uses a little walker to get around and she uses a wheelchair for long distances,” said Ali’s Dad, Neville Murphy.
After a lot of research, parents Neville and Laura Murphy have received a date for the life-changing surgery in Leeds Children's Hospital which will give Ali the best chance at being able to walk on her own.
“It just gives her a shot really and that’s the visible thing, but it will ease her pain basically,” said Mr Murphy, “She has had this since day one, so we don’t know what pain she’s in because she’s used to the pain, but she sleeps kind of curled up…and she does complain sometimes of pains in the night-time and she’s just used to them.”
“The intangible benefit that we won’t be able to see is it will ease her pain,” he added.
The combined costs of the surgery, including physio and time in Leeds, however, is approximately €80,000.
After receiving a surgery date for April just a few weeks ago, Ali’s parents are hoping to raise enough funds to cover the costs.
So far, they have raised over €54,000 and they have been “blown away” by the support from their local community in Crosshaven.
“There really is a community spirit. We’re not here that long, we came over from Monkstown probably about five years ago, but a lot of people would have seen her from going around in her walker and unbeknownst to us, a lot of people would have known her just to see,” said Mr Murphy.
Ali’s parents have also given special thanks to her school, Educate Together in Carrigaline and Heronswood Childcare for their support.
Mr Murphy described Ali as “feisty” and “independent” and with the local community rallying around them, the family are hopeful that they will meet their target in time.
To donate, visit Allegra’s SDR Journey.