Local couple humbled by support for charity

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THE generosity of North Antrim people to a little known charity has humbled the two people involved in a recent fund-raising event for its benefit.

The Aplastic Anaemia Trust was formed in 1999 from two organisations - The Marrow Environment Fund and the Aplastic Anaemia Support Group.

Aplastic anaemia is a life-threatening form of bone marrow failure. This means that the blood cells which are essential for life are no longer produced.

Although few people know about this disease it is as common as some types of leukaemia and just as devastating.

Trevor and Kate Munnis from the Ballymoney area became involved after their five-year-old nephew, Adam McNeilly, was diagnosed with the disorder.

Touched by Adam’s plight, Trevor and Kate decided to fund-raise for the Trust and little did they realise just how things would turn out.

Their first move was to book The Scenic Inn, near Armoy, on Saturday, April 6, for a gala night where people could come and enjoy themselves in a huge marquee and take part in an auction and raffle.

Trevor told the Times: “Shirley McKinlay from The Scenic couldn’t do enough for us. She organised the marquee, staffed it and provided food and entertainment and we couldn’t have asked for better.”

Trevor and Kate also did a parachute jump earlier in the day which raised a substantial amount.

But it was the Scenic Inn event which yielded the most. Some 400 people attended and Trevor admits he was humbled by the generosity shown.

He said: “To say we were chuffed would be an understatement. No one was under any pressure to support us, but they did and sometimes that makes you sit back and admire what people do.”

By the end of the day more than £7000 had been raised but cheques and cash are still coming in and Trevor reckons that they could well reach the magical £10,000 mark.

“It’s fantastic. We were touched by the plight of Adam who had to be kept away from other people because of the risk of infection. Thankfully, he’s coming on and his condition has been regulated. We just hope it will stay that way.”

Both Trevor and Kate know that the work of the Aplastic Anaemia Trust has made a great difference to many lives. They have helped raise its profile in this area and are delighted to have helped Adam’s parents, Andrew and Ruth (formerly Hanna from Corkey). Already, much has been done in the care and management of aplastic anaemia and today, eight out of ten will be restored to a good quality of life.

An account has been set up for the Trust in the Danske Bank which people can contribute to. Donations can be made to account number.