BATMAN, Spiderman and Superman were out and about at a fancy dress walk in Knockane, Pallasgreen but there was one real superhero - Eve Creamer.
The one-year-old has an extremely rare skin condition called Congenital Melanocytic Naevi (CMN) causing more than 50% of her body to be covered in moles / birthmarks. An MRI scan at six-days-old showed there was abnormal skin on her brain and spine too.
Eve, from Knockane, then developed hydrocephalus and epilepsy at 10 weeks old and required brain surgery to insert a shunt. At three-months-old Eve's parents - Sabrina and Robbie - were dealt a further blow when Eve was diagnosed with cancer. There is no cure.
Over the last couple of months Eve has needed five more surgeries due to shunt blockages and infections, all complications related to her condition. This has resulted in lots of time away from home, even recently spending her first birthday in Temple Street.
Despite all this Eve is the happiest and most lovable little girl imaginable. It is no wonder her family call her the warrior princess.
She was in her element on Saturday morning at the fundraiser in Knockane. Appropriately, Eve was dressed as Wonder Woman. The event was thought up by pupils in Garrydoolis NS where Eve’s beloved big sister Ayryn attends.
Heidi Jordan, principal, said the student council organised it with the backing of the whole school.
“The fancy dress walk was from Knockane GAA grounds, a 5km route locals call the ring of Knockane which brings you back to the school. The smallies did the community walking route around the pitch. We had around 150 in total.
“Before we left we had the CJ Kickham and Tipperary ladies footballer Brid Condon with the Mary Quinn memorial cup. We had a giant photo frame for Eve and students presented two personalised teddy bears to Eve and Ayryn as a memento of Garrydoolis NS’s fundraiser for Eve,” said Ms Jordan. It gave them the opportunity, as a school community, to instill a sense of empathy around those who aren’t well, she said.
“Eve’s mum has gone public on all the hospital visits and up and down to Dublin. It costs a lot of money so it is nice to help them out. Sabrina and Robbie are absolutely amazing parents,” said Ms Jordan. On the return from the walk there was a huge spread of refreshments laid on in the school with a disco, face painting and lots more fun from Wiggles the clown.
“The kids were at the centre of what was going on. For once they didn’t mind coming to school,” laughs Ms Jordan. The principal had hoped to raise €2,000 but to date €5,101.10 has been collected with a few more sponsorship cards and businesses to give money.
“Everybody was so generous. It is a staggering amount because we are such a small area - you don’t have a village up this end. The school is the epicentre of the local community so it was brilliant to bring the local community together. It was a celebration of Eve,” said Ms Jordan.
The over €5,000 will be added to the €29,000 that has currently been raised on a Go Fund Me page. It was set up by Sabrina’s brother Leonard Vance.
Sabrina said it is extremely hard to accept and admit but “after 12 months of the most incredibly difficult and most stressful time in our lives we accept that we need help”.
“Our most recent long stay in Temple Street in Dublin really hit home to us - how quickly and easily things can escalate with Eve and that is scary. No one can tell us how, or when Eve's condition will begin to go downhill, or how long we have together. Time has become our most valuable currency, and we want to spend as much of that time as we all have together, as happy and comfortable as possible.
“Before Eve was born I worked as a full-time nurse but have had to take an unpaid carer's break to stay at home and look after Eve. This break only lasts a certain amount of time and I am afraid to even ask my employer what happens to my job after that,” said Sabrina.
Robbie is a self-employed barber who has had to take numerous periods off work since Eve was born to help look after her. The couple also want to raise awareness about their baby daughter’s rare condition.
“It is not genetic. There was no reason why it happened, it’s just a freak thing that can happen during development in the womb. If it can happen to us it can happen to anyone,” said Sabrina. “Every cent” will go towards Eve's care, paying bills and expenses and improving Eve's living conditions, she said.
Eve may be a warrior princess but her parents are also fighters who will do anything for their baby girl. See https://ie.gofundme.com /f/eve-the-warrior-princess for more information.