This Saturday a playdate will be held at Clownaround in Portarlington for a very good cause.
Little Dylan Steele has become quite the celebrity since his Share A Dream moment last month. The Barrowhouse six year old joined the Garda Siochána, and was on duty for the rugby international at Lansdowne road between Ireland and Italy, appearing on TV3 and on national media since then.
“It has been manic since then. He is a little celebrity, When he went back to school the kids were asking for his autograph,” his mam Paula told the Leinster Express.
Dylan, who is in senior infants at Shanaghmore NS, is battling a life-shortening disease called Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, which makes moving difficult, and means he has to undergo painful therapy and treatments.
“He has a lot of appointments in Crumlin and Tallaght, He is in good form, but he is getting more tired and weaker. There is no cure, we just live day to day,” she said.
The ongoing costs of caring for him are difficult for Paula and Liam, who are on social welfare. Fundraising is the only way they can afford to buy the equipment to care for their son.
“At the moment we are fundraising for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and a treadmill for his physiotherapy. He got an electrical wheelchair three weeks ago from the HSE, but it doesn’t fold, so we have to use the manual one for the car,” Paula explained.
She has contacted all the local and national businesses she can, to ask for their help, and one local company has come up trumps for her.
Clown Around, the children’s play centre in Botley Lane, Portarlington, are giving all the admission costs from next Saturday morning, March 24, to the family. From 11am to 1pm, children can play, enjoy facepainting and a puppet show for €5 each. Proprietor Elaine Mulally hopes to get a big crowd in to support Dylan, who will be there himself with his sister Kerri.
“I was speechless when she said it. The support has been amazing, words of support and encouragement from all over the country and from our neighbours and friends too,” said Paula.