Claudia prepares to set up camp in County Limerick pub for little boy with rare disease

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Spending two nights in a pub may appeal to some but for one County Limerick woman it is an appeal for funds for a little boy with a rare disease.

Spending two nights in a pub may appeal to some but for one County Limerick woman it is an appeal for funds for a little boy with a rare disease.

Claudia O’Donnell will spend two nights camping in the Red Deer in Pallasgreen, and avoid temptation from 9pm on Friday, June 22 to Sunday, June 24 at 9pm.

Claudia thought up the unusual idea to help her friend Clodagh O’Carroll and her three year-old son, Christian, from Castletroy.

Clodagh says she has only met one other little boy in Ireland with the same condition. “It’s called eosinophilic esophagitis. It is the white blood cells that should be in your gut and attack parasites. For example, if you ate something that was a little gone off, so you wouldn’t get food poisoning they would attack it. With Christian those white blood cells have moved up in to his esophagus and when they see food coming in they think all food is parasites and they attack it. Basically it his body attacking itself,” explains Clodagh.

The disease is so rare that there isn’t even a proper treatment plan, let alone a cure for it, says Clodagh.

To help Christian’s care in to the future Clodagh’s good friend, Claudia O’Donnell, decided to raise money. While taking part in Limerick’s Live 95FM’s living in a car competition, Claudia thought up the idea of camping in a pub.

“I have a tent which will be put in to the Red Deer thanks to Bernie and Dick O’Doherty. I can only leave it every three hours for a toilet break and stretch my legs. I have a little camping stove outside the tent to cook things like beans and noodles. I will have no phone, no Facebook, no reading material, no sleeping bag,” said Claudia, who won’t even be allowed to change her clothes.

Over €5,000 has already been raised by a cousin of Clodagh’s, Sinead Cribben, and the money raised in Pallasgreen will add to this.

“There is no research being done in to it because it is such a new illness,” said Claudia. Christian weighs two and a half stone so they will place a bucket on a see saw and aim to fill it up with coins to weigh over two and half stone.

Music, games, sponsored waxing and tarot readings by Madame Tina will also take place over the three days.