By Joe Barrett
A tractor and truck run will be held on Sunday 2 October in aid of Maddie Gee and the Jack and Jill Foundation, starting from Portlaoise Rugby Club grounds at Togher, just outside Portlaoise off the Abbeyleix Road.
Registration takes place from 11am with the run starting at 1pm.
Entry fee to the run is €20, while entry to the children’s tractor run at 12.30pm is €2.
Little Madison Gee – known by her proud parents as Maddie – was born in June 2020 to mum Gemma, originally from Leeds, and dad Gordon, who is a Laois native.
Born during lockdown, Maddie needed specialist care and both mum and daughter spent seven days in hospital. After being discharged, Maddie began having mini-seizures and following several tests and reviews in Portlaoise and Temple Street, she was diagnosed with the rare genetic neurological disorder GNAO1. There are less than 300 children in the world diagnosed with this condition and Maddie is only one of three children in Ireland with this condition.
Maddie has now turned two, and with her continued growth and lack of mobility it has made life just that more difficult.
Aside from her parents, Maddie receives excellent care in her creche, and from her Jack and Jill nurse.
As Maddie continues to grow, she will need more and more specialist equipment just to help her sit and to have some sort of mobility.
Throughout October, the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation is urging people to go Up the Hill for Jack and Jill and donate €18, which is the cost of one hour of specialist home nursing care, to support local families like the Gees, who have an uphill challenge in caring for their very sick child at home every day.
Anyone wishing to get involved in the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation fundraising initiative can sign up at www.jackandjill.ie
You can also donate to the Motor For Maddie GoFundMe page by logging onto www.gofundme.com/f/motor-for-maddie