A BALLMONEY mother has raised over £1,327 for a Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus charity by running a sponsored horse riding lessons event.
Lynda Wright, whose nine year old daughter suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus decided to fund raise for the charity to say thank you for all the help and support they have given her over the years.
Little Katie Donnell was born with the condition and told she would never walk however she has shown great strength and courage attending school in Ballymena as well as weekly horse riding lessons in Armoy.
Lynda from Leany Terrace explained: “Over the years Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus charity’s like ASBAH and Shine have helped me and many other families with children who have spina bifida and hydrocephalus. And for a while now I’ve been wanting to do something to thank them and help raise much needed money which will benefit other families throughout the province and help raise awareness. The condition is very close to my heart as Katie not only has it but also my cousin’s little boy, Ralph, who is just 6 months old has been diagnosed to.”
In September 2010 Lynda organised a similar fundraising event which was a huge success.
She continued: “Two years ago I did the sponsored horse riding lessons and it went brilliantly raising £1,400 for ASBAH. Most people do marathons or fun runs to raise money but I wanted to do something different, that people could take part in no matter what their ability.
“Katie goes to horse riding lessons at Sheans Horse farm in Armoy most weeks and she absolutely loves it. They are so good out there and were willing to teach Katie despite her condition. It gives her freedom, builds her confidence as well as allowing her to have great fun.
“So I thought, why not thank the riding school too and organise horse riding lessons for people who have never done it before. Each person could get sponsored to take part in the half hour lesson and maybe it would help them in some way - fulfil a dream, or put an end to a lifelong fear.”
Last Sunday Lynda ran the event at Sheans Horse farm again and attracted 30 sponsored beginners.
Lynda said: “This year I decided to do the event again and collect for Shine which stands for Spina bifida Hydrocephalus Information Networking Equality.
“The whole day was amazing and a great success attracting 30 people including family and Katie’s friends. We ran five lessons from 2pm until after 6pm, each with six people, which was a great turnout. Some of the people where extremely brave taking on the challenge even though they were absolutely petrified. However my Katie was in the last lesson and simply stole the show!”
Thanking everyone involved Lynda added: “Once again Danny McKinley from Sheans gave us the run of the farm and the horses but would not take a penny, I owe him a massive thanks. I would also like to thank Maggie Archibald and Aine for all their help with the lessons and leading the horses as well all the people who took part or made a donation in some way either financial or simply with their time. Raising just over £1,327 is a job well done and we still have sponsor sheets to come back! And finally I would like to thank my Katie, she is a little star.”
* As of the 20th October 2011, Spina bifida • Hydrocephalus • Information • Networking • Equality - Shine, became the new name for the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH).
Shine is a registered charity, which was formed in 1966, initially to help families and individuals affected by spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
Today, Shine is a community of 75,000 individuals, families, friends, and professionals, sharing achievements, challenges and information on living with hydrocephalus, or spina bifida, and related issues. Working together throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland, they strive to overcome challenges and achieve the best for everyone affected by the condition.
For more information go online www.shinecharity.org.uk or to make a donation simply contact Lynda.