Please note the warning from the HSE, and protect yourself and family from contracting LYME disease

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When the community of Rathcormac and Bartlemy came to realise last June that treatment for Lyme disease avaIlable in America could help 15 year old Sinéad Kearney to recover her health, a fundraising campaign was set in motion to make it happen.

What followed went far beyond the expectations of everybody involved. People from the locality and far beyond were touched when they heard of her plight, having endured four years of chronic fatigue, weakness that often left her unable to even stand and severe pain in every part of her body that prevented her from going to school or taking part in hurling, football, horseriding, music and other activities she loved. Two episodes of neuro surgery for a related condition and every other treatment she could access in Ireland had failed to make a significant lasting impact on her health.

The range and scale of events organised and supported by so many clubs, organisations and individuals from every age group resulted in a Summer of social and sporting activities, the like of which had never before been seen in the area! There was a monster progressive 45 Card Drive, a Quiz, a massive Golf Classic, a Clay Pigeon Shoot, a Charity Cycle, a 6K Run and Walk, a GAA Family Fun Day, the highlight of which was a hurling match between the 1993 and 2003 Bride Rovers teams with a very entertaining running commentary, Traditional Music Sessions, a Concert featuring the best of local talent and special guest Luca Bloom, a Mud Run, an Orienteering Event, a Model Farm display, a Pony Club Fun Ride, Greyhound Racing, Dance evenings and several Coffee mornings! Beyond the immediate area Croagh Patrick and Carrauntoohil were climbed and the Atlantic Way Marathon was undertaken. Weight was lost, cakes, cards and wrist bands sold, bags packed and waste batteries collected! As John Lonergan commented at the most recent event, " there is nothing like a crisis to bring a community together!" People got to know and enjoy the company of others they had never met before and many of the events were such a success that it is hoped they will be run again in the future. Young and young at heart felt elated at the life it brought into the community.

Meanwhile, thanks to the pooling of time and talent and the generous financial support of so many individuals and business people Sinéad was able to travel to an Integrative Medical Clinic in upstate New York which specialises in treating Lyme Disease. The combination of intensive conventional and complementary therapies she benefited from over the two months spent there have left her feeling stronger and more up-beat than she has in a long long time. Her treatment will continue at home for some time as she gradually builds up her strength and fitness while studying for her Junior Cert. She has enjoyed returning to school and meeting up with friends when she feels well enough to as well as playing a bit of hurling and horse riding with her family.

She and her family are extremely grateful for the huge outpouring of help and support which has made this possible. It is so good to see the real Sinéad shining through again.

Thank you, but we have stopped taking donations. Announcement coming shortly. Date posted 11th Jan 2016