T he mother of a four-year-old North Belfast boy who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2010 says she is overwhelmed by the generosity of pupils, parents and staff at his nursery school after they raised over £1,000 for a charity set up in his name.
Since Dáire Downey, a pupil at Stanhope Street Nursery School in Carrick Hill, was diagnosed in September 2010 his parents Kerrie and Damian have raised thousands of pounds to fund research, education and equipment for hospitals that treat children with brain tumours.
Last week their charity, Dáire’s Dream, received £1,150 raised by pupils, staff and parents at his nursery school.
Following a brief illness of ten days, Dáire, who lives on the Antrim Road, was diagnosed with an anaplastic ependymoma on September 29, 2010. In October 2010 he had extensive neurosurgery to remove the tumour and spent almost a month in hospital where he learned to walk and talk again.
In November 2010 Dáire commenced Proton Beam Radiotherapy at the Proton Therapy Institute in Jacksonville, Florida until January 2011. Kerrie Downey said she is overwhelmed by their generosity of the fundraisers.
“It’s just amazing, the generosity of everyone at the school has been overwhelming,” she said.
“We would like to thank everyone at the school, it’s a fantastic amount of money, especially when you consider that there are only around 50 children attending. It is going to go towards something that is very worthwhile and that is important.”
She said that although Dáire has to go for six-month check-ups he is now a thriving boy and enjoying life with his three siblings Tiarnan, Aiofe and Soarlaith.
Stanhope Street Nursery School principal Karen Timmons praised the pupils, parents and staff.
“It’s for a really great cause,” she said.
“Dáire comes in and gets on with things, his family have a really positive attitude and he is a fabulous child. We call him Dáire ‘Georgeous’ Downey and that’s what he answers to!”
Donations to Dáire’s Dream can be made through his website www.dairesdream.com.