Saoirse and Sharon making a huge push today in Balyshannnon for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus

Michael Daly


Michael Daly


Saoirse and Sharon making a huge push today in Balyshannnon for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus

Today's the day - Sharon and Saoirse ready for their 5km push in Ballyshannon at 1pm.

19 year old Saoirse Doyle who has Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus is raising funds and awareness for the condition today in his home town by undertaking a demanding 5k wheelchair challenge in Ballyshannon.

Saoirse and his support worker Sharon O’Driscoll, who works for the Donegal Centre for Independent Living in Letterkenny, will both tackle the route which runs from the offices of Erne Print at Portnason in the town to the Lakeside Centre.

Saoirse and Sharon will start this unique effort at 1pm and it’s hoped they will get lots of support along the way.

From 10.30am this morning there will be a bucket collection at the Bridgend roundabout to give people the chance to support this great effort and cause.

Saoirse is a son of Gabrielle and Dessie Doyle and they live in Cashelard.

“This has been a huge thing for Saoirse and he has been training very hard for this,” his father Dessie told the Democrat.

It’s also quite a challenge for Sharon and she too has been putting in the miles to be ready to do the 5k route.

The idea for the push came after Saoirse took part in a SHINE intensive independence training week which aims to help people with Spina Bifida become more independent and do things for themselves.

“He came back all full of ideas and that he wanted to become more independent,” said Sharon.

“He said he wanted to raise money and awareness and I said why don’t we put me in your wheels for a day. We have been doing some training and that hasn’t been easy,” Sharon explained.

As well as raising awareness about the condition, Saoirse is also raising funds for the voluntary organisation Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI). A Facebook page called Push It to the Limit has been set up as well as a Just Giving page where donations can be made online.

In a post on the Facebook page Saoirse pays tribute to his PA Sharon he says she has given him skills to help himself: “rather than do things for me, she has given me the skills to help myself.   

“We have decided to do a 5K wheelchair challenge. The aim is to raise awareness and funds for SBHI. We may encounter difficulties along the way but we are determined we can do this. Please show your support by sponsoring us. All donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

The push starts at Erne Print in Portnason at 1pm, Saoirse and Sharon will push their wheelchairs to the Lakeside Centre, will go from there back down into Ballyshannon via the East Port, emerging again at the Bridgend roundabout and from there return to the finish line at the Lakeside Centre.

Please share this article this morning to let as many people as possible know this superb event is happening, Saoirse and Sharon deserve huge support.