Quiz fundraiser to help those with spina bifida

By Mary Dennehy

A TALLAGHT dad is inviting members of the community to support a fundraising pub quiz night for children and adults with spina bifida hydrocephalus.

Anthony Keogh is the voluntary chairperson of the Dublin branch of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI), which relies on fundraising to provide a range of activities, events and supports for its members.

Spinah bifida fundraiser Hannah2 compressor

Hannah Keogh 

According to Anthony, there’s a lack of accessible events and social activities for both children and adults with spina bifida, a neural tube defect caused by the incomplete development of the vertebrae in the spinal cord.

Anthony’s four-year-old daughter Hannah, who is a pupil of Scoil Mochua in Clondalkin, has spina bifida hydrocephalus – which, quite common among babies born with spina bifida, includes a build-up of fluid on the brain.

“There is very little out there for small kids and adults with spina bifida, I see it first-hand,” Anthony told The Echo.

“If we didn’t do something about it, they would just be left.

“We organise events and activities for kids and adults like museum trips, lunches.

“We had a huge event last August, a BBQ and a live band . . . and we also fund the respite break in the summer.

“In December we had a Christmas party in the Green Isle for adult members . . . and some of our adult members said that they hadn’t been out in six or seven months.”

According to Anthony, transport is a big issue for many of its members, alongside accessibility to venues and suitable toilet facilities.

“A lot of planning goes into organising events but it’s worth it,” Anthony said.

“Everyone on the committee has a child with spina bifida, and we see the benefit.

“When Hannah goes [to the events] she sees other kids and adults in wheelchairs and doesn’t feel so ostracised.”

Anthony said that the Dublin branch of SBHI is trying to organise as many events as it can each year.

However, they need the public’s support in raising funds, with Anthony and fellow Tallaght parent and voluntary committee member Diane O’Kane encouraging their local community to come out in support.

SBHI Dublin’s next event is being staged in St Anne’s GAA Club, Bohernabreena, which, being accessible to people using wheelchairs, has donated the use of its premises for free.

On Friday, February 28, a pub quiz will be staged in St Anne’s, with members of the public invited to attend.

Starting at 8pm, tickets cost €10 – with every person who buys a ticket entered into a draw for a weekend away.

SBHI Dublin is also reaching out to people with spina bifida and their families who may not be linked in with the Dublin branch.

For further details and to buy tickets visit SBHI Dublin on Facebook or call Anthony on 089 6018998.

For details on the work of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, which was established 50 years ago by a small group of parents, visit SBHI.

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