White collar boxing for ‘Team Katie D’

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Northern Ireland charities that have helped a brave local girl, will benefit from a white collar boxing night early next year.

Thirteen-year-old Katie Donnell, a pupil of Sandelford School in Coleraine, has put up a brave battle for life since the day she was born.

Katie, who lives in Ballymoney, was born 3 weeks early with spinia bifida and hydrocephalus which was unknown until birth. At just one day old little Katie had her first brain surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery could not be completed as Katie was getting too weak. Later that week Katie had more surgery.

Katie also has cerebral palsy ataxia, and at five, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. It’s been a tough time for Katie and her parents Lynda Wright and Adrian Donnell. Just two years ago, Katie was also diagnosed with Lupus.

Speaking to The Times this week, Katie’s mum Lynda said that the idea to fund raise came about after she put a ‘bit of rant’ on Facebook.

“Katie has had a hard time in her short life.

“She had tickets to see one of her favourite bands, but she was unable to go due to the risk of infection. I put a bit of rant on Facebook about the price of the corporate boxes at the Odyssey, as this was the only way we could’ve got Katie to see the concert, and to be honest it took off from there.

“We have since had a box donated for the band’s next concert in April. We had other people offering to fund raise for Katie, so we decided to set up a fund raising page and help all the charities and hospitals that have helped Katie along the way.

“My cousin, Christopher McCook, came up with boxing idea with Emma Jamieson and Rosie McIntyre. We put a wee post on facebook, and we were inundated with messages,” told Lynda.

As little Katie’s full time carer, Lynda admitted that it’s not easy to watch her little daughter suffering with her conditions.

“Lupus has changed and taken over Katie’s life. The last eight months have been really hard for us all. Katie’s had hair loss, gained 3 stone, and has what is called moon face, due to steroids. She is also in a wheelchair.

“Katie hasn’t been back to school since May, she’s been unable to attend youth club, or take part in her special needs tag rugby team. She’s unable to see any of her friends or cousins, due to the risk of infection. Despite everything, Katie has went through everyday with a smile on her face, nothing seems to put Katie down,” said the proud mum.

The white collar boxing night will take place in The Hedges on Saturday, April 16. To donate, or to find out more visit TeamKatieD on gofundme.com