Parents aim to raise €100k for life-changing surgery for Kal

By Maurice Garvey

A CAMPAIGN to send a little boy to the USA for life-changing surgery, continues to gain momentum after the latest fundraising event.

Clondalkin youngster Kal Jennings (3) is diagnosed with central palsy spastic diplegia and PVL brain injury.

Dean Carpenter Kal 11

His parents Ashley Byrne and Derek Jennings, from Old Tower, are trying to raise €100k to send their boy to the States for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

The surgery is recommended between the ages of 2-4 before any deformities have developed, and it could help Kal to walk independently, drastically improving his quality of life.

On Saturday, Dean Carpenter, owner of D-Top Fitness in Neilstown ran a mini-bootcamp for kids, to raise funds for ‘Kal’s Journey’ campaign.

“It went really well, we raised over €3,200 and are expecting a bit more to come in,” said Dean, who has hosted four fitness events for Kal – a nephew of his girlfriend.

“There was a horse race event last week that raised €5k, so the target is now up to around €66k. Kal is on a waiting list to be seen by doctors in the US. When they contact the family, it will be notice for three months. It is a waiting game, but things are going well.”

Dean said support for Kal in the community has been “emotional to watch in action” and he thanked everyone who has taken part in the events.

Since February, numerous different fundraisers have been held by local business, groups and individuals.

Last week, the parents’ association in St Brigid’s GNS, where Kal’s sisters Paige (7) and Holly (6) attend, donated €100 via a coin collection.

Kal’s parents hope the 100k target will go towards SDR surgery, physiotherapy sessions and further therapies Kal will require in his recovery and treatment.

To support the campaign, visit Kal’s Journey on Facebook or make a donation at                      

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