Limerick family to take plunge to raise funds for autistic child

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A SIXMILEBRIDGE family are set to take the plunge in a bid to raise money for an autistic youngster who requires home tuition.

A SIXMILEBRIDGE family are set to take the plunge in a bid to raise money for an autistic youngster who requires home tuition.

Three-year-old Sarah Doody was diagnosed with autism in 2011, and ideally requires home tuition until she starts mainstream school next autumn.

But a grant which was to provide her with this support was cut last summer, leaving her parents needing to find €25,000 privately to ensure Sarah receives the help she needs.

Miriam O’Rahilly, one of Sarah’s cousins, is taking the jump with four of her friends: Jennifer Lyons, Siobhan Hanrahan, Liam Brosnan and Shane Moloney.

It had been a long term goal of hers to plunge from the sky - so Miriam felt it was an ideal time to combine fundraising and doing the jump, which it is hoped will raise €8,000.

“I said we might as well do it for Sarah. We were going to raise money for autism, and then we said we should do it for her specifically,” Marian explained, “We would hope to raise in the region of between €5,000 and €8,000. The aim is for Sarah to get home tuition until she starts mainstream school in September 2014. This will cost in the region of €25,000 per year.”

Miriam says Sarah’s father Paul, who is currently out of work, is everyday seeking employment to allow the family to pay the remainder of the cost for Sarah.

“They are just going on their savings at the moment, which are running out fast, as you can imagine,” she said.

The tuition has had a really positive effect on Sarah, Miriam adds.

“There has been a huge different since she has been tutored. Before, you would walk into the house and stand at the door, and she would not even look at you. Now, she knows my name, says hello and goodbye, and will give you a kiss,” she explained.

The group will take to the skies of Co Offaly on Saturday, March 30.

For more information, and to support the family, contact orahillymiriam@gmail.com or telephone 087 1638018.