Famous faces set to ‘go over the top’ in fundraising abseil

March 20, 2017

A Crossmaglen man whose wife suffers from the rare and incurable condition, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), will be joined by a host of famous faces prepared to “go over the top” in an upcoming abseil to raise funds for wife Caroline to travel to a specialist clinic in London.

Former All-Ireland champion Oisin McConville and BBC Sports Reporters, Mark Sidebottom and Thomas Kane will join Neil Hughes in a daring abseil from the top of the Europa Hotel in Belfast next month, along with Caroline’s sister Paula and Crossmaglen GP, Dr. Allen and Gary McKeown.

Thirty six year old Caroline has only been diagnosed with EDS within the last year despite having suffered with the effects of the condition for the last 25 years. The mum of 3 young children, aged 6, 4 and 3, struggles daily with the effects of the progressive and incurable condition which affects her musculoskeletal system, her autonomic system, the connective tissues and collagen of the body, as well as her vital organs. EDS manifests itself in varying symptoms from frequent dislocations to mitral valve and organ prolapse. There is no cure for the illness, only management of the symptoms.

For Caroline, the splints on her arms and hands are a constant reminder of her regularly dislocating joints and she lives with chronic pain and extreme fatigue.  Her debilitating symptoms means she wears a permanent neck brace as a result of her cranial instability and uses a walking stick to help her get around, requiring a wheelchair if she has to travel any distance.

Due to a lack of specialist medical help for EDS in Ireland, Caroline – like fellow sufferer Seanin Smith from Belleek – needs to travel to a private clinic in London and may also require surgery in Spain and the USA. During the fundraising process, Caroline and her family are determined to help raise awareness of the rare condition and about living with and managing chronic conditions and pain.

The Europa Abseil is the first of many fundraising events being organised over the coming months in the hope that, with the support and generosity of the local community, Caroline will get the treatment she so desperately needs.

The intrepid team will undertake the audacious abseil off the Europa Hotel on Sunday 9th April.  Sponsor cards for the event are available by phoning 07393612032

A justgiving page has also been set up to accept donations.  To donate, follow the link