‘Receiving care in Inishowen for AJ has been a godsend’


Fundraising dance to help Drumfries boy

Agatha and AJ

A BUNCRANA fundraising dance this weekend aims to help a young local boy continue to receive life changing medical care here in Inishowen. The charity dance, which is being held in The Plaza this Sunday night, June 5, is being held in aid of the AJ Trust. Ten-year-old AJ Harkin, from Drumfries, who suffers from cerebral palsy, had previously went to Peto Institute in Budapest every year for intensive physio and treatment. But now his parents Agatha and Anthony Harkin have brought the Peto Institute to Inishowen. “We have a therapist here now in Inishowen and she works with AJ four hours a day, every day of the week,” said AJ’s mum Agatha. “This woman has been a godsend to us, a lifeline – she has brought everything from Hungry to Inishowen and AJ is able to do everything he did previously in Hungry here and he gets to go home every night.” Agatha says they hope to be able to keep the health care provider in Inishowen until Christmas to continue to work with AJ. However it will all be dependent on funding. “She has been able to do conductive education with AJ here and we find that he is responding so much better in the comfort of his own environment and being able to come home every night. “She is helping him to do the simple task, such as sitting and standing, that we can do easily. It’s repetitive work but it’s just a matter of re-training the brain. “The improvement AJ has had is amazing – it might seem minimal to some people but for us and for AJ it’s incredible. He is doing great and pushing to try and do everything on his own,” added proud mum Agatha, who is originally from Greencastle. Agatha and Anthony had previously taken AJ to the Peto Institute in Hungry, however as the Harkin family has extended and got older it’s become too difficult for them. “We have four children now and it’s just getting too hard to go out Hungry – we were breaking up a family for five weeks and it was heartbreaking. Our youngest son is only three while our others are at school so we couldn’t take them with us. “This way we can bring the exact same intensive treatment he was receiving to Inishowen but unless we can continue fundraising we won’t be able to continue –every little thing helps us massively.”

The Charity Dance for the AJ Trust takes place this Sunday, June 5, in the Plaza. Doors open at 10pm until 1am and there will be music by D anny and Slim. Tickets cost €10 or you can pay at the door. Everyone welcome.