Haircut For Doireann To Boost HannahHill Appeal And Rapunzel Foundation
BY LEO McMAHON
What a thoughtful little girl is four years old Doireann Reddy from Heron’s Wood, Carrigaline for boosting two very deserving causes.
Doireann was in Walsh’s All Care Pharmacy, Carrigaline recently with her mother Elaine and two years old sister Roisin ahead of donating, when Covid restrictions permit, 14 inches of her beautiful blonde hair to the Rapunzel Foundation. What’s more, she also presented a cheque for over €1,100 to Catherine Clancy, chairperson of a local group striving to raise over €120,000 for urgently needed surgery for 20 years old Galway based Hannah Hill, whose family have strong Carrigaline connections.
The Rapunzel Foundation is a charity based in New Ross, Co Wexford, which, apart from fundraising, literally promotes ‘hair raising’ to help to make much needed wigs to improve the lives of those living with hair loss (alopecia). Elaine said her daughter’s hair will be cut for the first time by Melissa Scully Coleman of Klassy Kutz, Carrigaline.
It was in the course of supporting this charity that she heard about Hannah and decided that Doireann could be part of this fund raising effort also. Over €1,000 was raised and thanks were expressed on behalf of the Hill family by Catherine Clancy who was accompanied by fellow Carrigaline fund raisers Veronica Stuart, Pauline Matthews and Noreen Lawlor. Host Walsh’s All Care Pharmacy was represented by Ber Walsh and Breda Murphy who treated Doireann and Roisin to goodie bags.
Hannah Hill, who resides in Galway, suffers from a rare disorder known as TMJ that inhibits jaw movement resulting in swelling and severe pain for which there is no surgical treatment available in Ireland and makes eating food very difficult. Her mother Ann (daughter of Noreen and the late Michael O’Reilly from Carrigaline) is a childhood friend of Catherine Clancy. Her father is David Hill and she also has a sister Asha, aged 16 who are also hugely supportive.
After many months of frustration, the family was finally able to submit an application to the Treatment Abroad Scheme last September and referred to the UK for surgery. Hannah had procedures in late 2019 and 2020 which indicated the joints were too damaged to be saved from the effects of osteoarthritis and connective tissue disorder.
In January, she travelled there again to have scans and a small operation to get her jaw ready for titanium prosthetic jaw implants which will be custom made in California, USA thereby enabling main surgery which is due to take place in The London Clinic when suitable.
However, as pointed out by Ann: ‘The impact of travelling home after the operation in January was too much. Hannah’s jaw deteriorated very badly and she has been in hospital in Galway for several weeks being fed by a line for nutrition because she can no longer drink at all and is suffering from pain which makes it difficult for her to sleep. These are definitely the hardest days we have known so please pray for her if you can’.
You Can Help
It’s hoped that Hannah will be well enough to travel to London for main surgery in late spring but in the meantime fundraising, with a target of €120,000, continues so here’s how you can help:
Donations to Urgent Surgery for Hannah Go Fund Me Page
Order face masks made by Veronica Stuart (world renowned lacemaker) from Maurland Estate and her daughter Catherine Clancy from Clevedon, Carrigaline. Masks can be ordered on the Masks in Support of Hannah Hill Appeal Facebook page.
Purchase Ann Hill’s book about ‘The Secret Book of Parent Training’, a joyful book about mental health and emotional well being for parents and children. On sale in Carrigaline Bookshop.
By beautiful prints, price €27 including postage, by artist Marja Van Kampen – see her Facebook page.
Organise a fundraising activity for Urgent Surgery for Hannah appeal by contacting Catherine at 087 7595370.
Expressing thanks and saying well done to Doireann and the Reddy family (who also include dad Keith and older brothers Josh and Danny) and everyone who has supported the appeal, Catherine Clancy said: ‘Every little helps and I know that Ann really appreciates that so many people in Carrigaline are thinking about Hannah and care about her’. To date, €109,000 has been raised.
Ann, who gives regular online updates from Galway, thanked Doireann and her family. She also paid tribute to mask makers Veronica and Catherine (organisers of the first fundraiser, a Lace and Vintage Fashion Show in Carrigaline Soccer Club in July 2019) and fellow fund raisers in Carrigaline; oral maxillofacial surgeon in London, Luke Cascarini; the staff of Walsh’s Pharmacy, Marja Van Kampen and everyone in Carrigaline, Galway and beyond who have donated big and small and sent such lovely messages of kindness and support.
‘We are so proud of Hannah, who is doing her best to be cheerful despite being in pain and unable to move around. Her brave spirit uplifts us as she tries her best to keep hope alive of a full life again. All we want is to hear her singing and laughing, eat a pizza, take walks in the woods and do everything else a young person should be able to do. All these things that seem so simple would be a miracle to us now. On behalf of Ann and all the family, thanks so much to everyone who is helping us get her there’.