In February 2017, two Donaghmore sisters will take to the skies above Northern Ireland in a bucket list challenge that will see them jump 12,000 feet from the sky. Denise Murtagh and Alanna Collins will become part of Team100 Make Today Count, an initiative by local fundraising group, Leap for Luke, who are attempting to get 100 people from across Northern Ireland taking to the skies in early 2017, to create awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and to raise funds for the Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund run by Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Both Denise and Alanna work in Dungannon Enterprise Centre along with Claire O’Hanlon, from Coalisland whose 5 year old son, Luke, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a life limiting, muscle wasting condition that leads to increasing disability and has a Northern Ireland life expectancy of just 19 years old. Denise has said ‘being a mum myself I can’t imagine what it would be like to know that my son has a life limiting condition. I know Luke, and when you see him, it’s hard to imagine what lies ahead for him. But his mum Claire is so positive and believes that scientists are at a point where they could save this generation of children living with Duchenne and we are up for anything that will help them to achieve this. Yes, a sky dive is scary business but there’s nothing as scary as the prospect of losing your child’.
The girls, who together have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in Dungannon to start and grow their own businesses over the last decade, are calling on as many friends, colleagues and supporters as possible to either jump with them or donate to their fundraising campaign. Alanna said ‘I’m just not thinking about the actual jumping part right now, I’ll leave that to the day. I remember Claire waiting for Luke’s results and then getting his diagnosis. She was heartbroken but since then her resolve to save her son has been unwaivering. By being part of Team100 I’m hopeful that we can help Claire and other families in Northern Ireland to one day gain access to drugs that could add years to their children’s lives’.
If you are up for the challenge and want to jump with the girls all you have to do is visit http://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/events/make-today-count/ or Facebook message Leap for Luke and register for just £29 (early bird rate ends 31st October) and commit to raising £400 sponsorship which is much easier than you think.
If jumping from a plane isn’t quite your thing then please nip over and sponsor Denise and Alanna at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deniseandalanna and give Leap for Luke a like on Facebook.