We've learned a lot about ourselves over the lockdown. Fifteen weeks of social distancing has tested us all, but the intrinsic generosity of Irish people was proven time and again.
Nothing captured this country's spirit of giving like the Do It For Dan campaign. Over €3.3million was raised so that young Dan Donaher could travel to America to receive the Zolgensma treatment for type 1 SMA.
Yesterday, however, the campaign revealed the heartbreaking news that Dan cannot travel to America to receive the treatment because he has contracted a rare virus.
In a statement, Dan's mother Aisling wrote:
"It has been a very tough couple of days and very difficult to get our heads around.
“We were devastated when we got the results back. The last few months have been surreal for us and although the news is very upsetting, we will never forget the kindness and generosity we received.
"We could not be prouder of how our little boy touched so many people and bound so many communities together.
"We would like to thank absolutely everyone who has supported us, donated, fundraised, ran, sang, and danced in order to give our little boy a fighting chance at life, we will never be able to thank you all enough.
"All we ever wished for our baby boy was that he got a chance, and you made that possible…”
Incredibly, the statement also said that the campaign would be making a €1 million donation to the 'A Better Life For Livie' campaign, which is seeking to raise money for Livie Mulhern, a young girl also suffering from type 1 SMA. The money will go to cover the cost of Livie's treatment.
All around the country this weekend, fundraisers for Livie took place. Meath was especially engaged, with many famous faces from the Royal County getting involved in the the Solo For Livie challenge.
Generosity and charity of the people of Meath never ceases to amaze me. Privileged to see TWO remarkable events today. Keith Russell running 226km in 24hrs (!!) for @Claremontsports and @RorysStories leading the way in @teamlivie 75km football solo. pic.twitter.com/QpU0DON5cZ
— Gavan Becton (@GavBecton) June 28, 2020
Fabulous to catch up with my 2 great old team mates today Brian Stafford & Colm O Rourkes we will be Auctioning our last 3 Meath jerseys for a magnificent cause @teamlivie Please please help little Livie 💚💛💚💛 pic.twitter.com/LPXa9uoJMR
— Bernard Flynn (@bernardflynn15) June 28, 2020
What a day. So happy to contribute to @teamlivie campaign. We smashed our target and raised much needed awareness. The photo shows the last 500 metres of the day. Myself (bolloxed!) and @MeathGAA manager Andy McEntee leading our neighbours Garristown to the finish line. pic.twitter.com/7vC1J4Wdc3
— Rory's Stories (@RorysStories) June 28, 2020
But coming as it did, at a time for true heartbreak, the donation from Do It For Dan campaign was absolutely astounding.