Network Ireland Kildare branch have announced Arthritis Ireland as Charity of the Year for their annual luncheon this November, as they raise money for the Arthritis Ireland Children and Youth Programme. Arthritis is a condition that affects more than 1,200 children in Ireland, making it about as common as childhood diabetes. Arthritis Ireland provides much-needed services and educational programmes to help children and teenagers live well with arthritis.
Lorna Norton’s son, Mark aged seven, was diagnosed when he was four years old. The Norton family are from Caragh, Naas. Lorna said: “When Mark was a baby, he could not raise his head, he missed all of his milestones, and we were told that he might never walk. Some days Mark cannot get out of bed because he is in too much pain, he cannot carry a schoolbag on his back because it makes his knees buckle underneath him. People often don’t understand that Mark has this condition, that there is anything wrong. The services Arthritis Ireland provides are invaluable to us. The family support, workshops, educational programmes allow Mark, and our family, to live as normal a life as possible. The day we picked up the phone to Arthritis Ireland was a turning point for our family; we could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. So, I was delighted to hear that Network Ireland Kildare branch had chosen Arthritis Ireland as their charity of the year. I know the people of Kildare will come out in force to support this worthy cause and help continue the services they provide to my family and all other families living with this horrible condition.”
John Church, CEO Arthritis Ireland, said: “Arthritis is often seen as an “old person’s disease” with “a few aches and pains”. However, it is a serious chronic disease impacting on children and young people in Ireland, childhood arthritis needs to be given the respect and resources it deserves. We are delighted that Network Ireland Kildare branch chose us as their charity partner, their support will allow us to continue our children and youth services both in Kildare and nationally.”
Stella Johnson, Network Ireland Kildare President, commented: “We are thrilled to have Arthritis Ireland as our charity of the year. So many of us were not even aware children could have arthritis, the severity of the disease and the impact on their childhood. Arthritis Ireland is providing fantastic support for these children and families, and we want to help them continue and grow their services. Their positive, no limits attitude to managing the disease is exactly the ethos we try to instil in our own members. These children and families are an inspiration to us and I know the people of Kildare will rally to make this year’s charity luncheon the best one ever.”
Network Ireland Kildare Branch’s Charity Luncheon is always a joyous occasion filled with entertainment and opportunity with their annual charity raffle. The luncheon will take place on Friday the 18th of November at 1pm in the Osprey Hotel + Spa, Naas. All are welcome to attend and support their annual fundraising effort for this worthwhile cause. Members can avail of a special price of €65, guests/non-members are also welcome with a ticket price of €75. Places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment at http://network-kildare-charity-lunch.eventbrite.com.