Limousin breeders rally in aid of NI Children’s Hospice

THE NI Limousin Cattle Breeders Club is running a charity auction at the British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) show and sale at Ballymena Mart on May 7.

After hearing the story of Graham and Joanne McFarland the club has sprung into action with a plan to raise funds for the NI Children’s Hospice, which supported the family recently.

Graham’s brother Howard runs the Rahoney herd in Trillick, County Tyrone.

Graham and Joanne’s son Andrew is struggling with a rare neurodegenerative condition, a variant form of Late Infantile Batten Disease (CLN5) which causes blindness, complex epilepsy, along with the loss of mobility, the ability to communicate and swallow.

Just before Christmas Andrew’s health deteriorated, he became seriously unwell and after a long stay in hospital the family found themselves in the care of the NI Children’s Hospice over the Christmas holiday period.

Graham said: “We thought Andrew wouldn’t make it to Christmas, but thankfully he did, and being at the hospice allowed us to spend time together as a family after almost two months of being separated by hospital stays. The nurses and other staff gave up their time at Christmas so we could spend the special time together; we will always be grateful to them for that.

“The staff at the hospice are simply amazing, nothing whatsoever is a problem to them. There was always someone on hand if needed and we were looked after in every way. We managed to have some very valuable quality time with our close family,” he added.

Following their experience the family want to give thanks to the hospice by raising funds and Howard has donated an embryo to be auctioned at the BLCS sale at Ballymena.

Club member David Hamill is now on the lookout for other donations, semen, embryos or anything else that could raise funds for this very worthwhile cause. David, who runs the Cloverdale Herd in Dunmurray, can be contacted on 078 8521 6578 or dahamill@hotmail.com with any donation offers.

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