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Donemana family gives digger a festive makeover for charity.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Donemana family gives digger a festive makeover for charity. thumbnail The Woods family’s festive decoration at the Moyagh crossroads, Donemana.

A LOCAL family have given a digger a festive makeover and it's all in the name of charity.

Patrick and Donna Woods decided to bedeck the machinery with Christmas lights in a bid to raise money for the Children's Cancer Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

The festive scene - which is proving a hit with passing motorists - is situated at the Moyagh crossroads junction, Donemana.

The couple are urging everyone to come along and make a donation via the collection box beside the light display.

The unit and the sterling work it does to support sick children and their families is something very close to the family's hearts.

Their little boy Zac, now three, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia over a year a go.

Their lives were turned upside down on September 28, 2016, when Zac was diagnosed after his mum took him to Altnagelvin Hospital's Out of Hours Department.

Speaking on Monday, Mrs Woods explained: "I knew something was wrong with Zac so I took him to the Out of Hours Department.

"I was initally dismissed twice by various General Practioners (GPs) but was finally listened to the third time. That was when we received the devastating news of Zac's condition.

"Shortly after being diagnosed he got really sick and we had to spend four weeks in hospital as he was battling for his life in an Intensive Care Unit.

"But after three years of ongoing treatment Zac will still continue to be monitored for another two years. That doesn't mean he is in remission, Zac still needs to receive treatment to stop the Leukaemia coming back."

The devoted mother said her son is a "happy and inspirational" little boy.

She continued: "Treatment is very intense. It consists of chemo every day and another drug every Saturday. An antibiotic is issued every Monday and Tuesday and that includes five days of steroids per month and a second chemo drug which can only be given by the hospital.

"A lumbar puncture is also given four times a year.

We take each day as it comes and try to make life as normal as we can for Zac.

"He is so happy and inspirational. People often ask how do you do it? The answer is, we do it because Zac never complains and we are so proud of him.'' The family would like to thank both the doctors and nurses at the unit who have been ''excellent'' in dealing with Zac's condition and to everyone who has donated so far.

Mr and Mrs Woods initially planned to raise £500 via their Justgiving page but have been overwhelmed with the response.

They have raised over £1,000 in two days via the page and collection box.

"All proceeds for the event will be given to the Children's Cancer Unit and this will help greatly with funding equipment and resources such as staff training and Leukaemia research," Mrs Woods added.

To donate to this worthy cause see the collection box located at Moyagh crossroads or visit
www.justgiving.com / fundraising / paddywoods

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