Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Lip Sync fundraiser raises £27k for brave Séanín as she embarks on US voyage

As brave Belleek’s girl Séanín Smith finally embarked on her arduous two week journey by boat to America last Monday where she will undergo vital surgery and tests, her army of supporters were preparing themselves for the main event of a dedicated fundraising campaign to raise the remaining £40,000 needed for her medical treatment in the States.

Hundreds turned up to Friday night’s epic Lip Sync Battle, which saw 18 fantastic acts go head to head on the Canal Court stage to deliver some spectacular lip syncing performances.

The unforgettable night also featured local dance hero Shane McKeever and everyone’s favourite, Big O, who kept the crowd laughing during the Lip Sync interval.  Séanín’s supporters also dug deep to generously bid during a charity auction which included amazing prizes such as a pair of Carl Frampton signed boxing gloves and a Paddy Barnes signed Olympic boxing robe from London 2012.

Séanín’s sister Louise, who organised the event, described it as a “great night of entertainment with something for everyone” and thanked all who took part.

“All the participants put a huge effort into fundraising and putting on a great show and I can’t thank them enough for this,” she told The Examiner.

“I’d like to thank Shane McKeever and Big O who provided entertainment during the interval. Special thanks to all those who sold and bought tickets, promoted our event, donated to our auction, made donations, to all the acts who took part and to the committee over the last couple of weeks and to everyone who helped make this fundraiser such a success!

“We are overwhelmed that the amazing total raised is £27,000!”!

After two long years of hospitalisations, research and fundraising, EDS sufferer Séanín faces one more week of intense travel before she reaches Maryland, where she will undergo cranial stabilisation surgery and a host of medical tests to ascertain how her debilitating condition can be treated.

Séanín’s life has dramatically changed since being diagnosed with the rare and debilitating condition known as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).  The progressive and incurable disease affects the skin, joints and muscles causing frequent strokes and seizures as well as affecting vital organs. The medical interventions in the USA are her only hope and, as she is unable to fly due to her complex health issues, Séanín had no choice but to undertake the journey to America by boat.

Accompanied by her devoted parents, the travelling has already taken its toll on the 23 year old with her fragile health suffering a setback as exhaustion and pain rendered her unconscious for a period on Wednesday evening before she boarded the ship in Southampton on Thursday. They are due to arrive in New York on Friday morning where they will rest for 3 nights before continuing their journey by train on Monday 4th July to Maryland.

With Séanín now more than halfway there, the Fight on Campaign Facebook page has been flooded with messages of support and love for the local girl whose battle against a cruel and debilitating condition has captured the hearts of people throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.  As she approaches her destination, it is clear that the prayers and thoughts of her family, friends and the entire community are firmly with Séanín as she faces the long road ahead in her battle to lead a normal life once again.

A “Ravensdale Ramble” will take place this Sunday 3rd July in aid of the Fight On Campaign for Séanín. The 5 mile leisurely walk through the beautiful Ravensdale Forest will begin at Jonesborough Graveyard at 1pm on Sunday, returning to Cagney’s at the Carrickdale Hotel for certificates and refreshments.  The Nooks Duo Band will be playing in the Carrickdale Beer Garden on the day. Entry to the Ravendale Ramble is £5 for adults and £3 for children.

Donations to the Fight On Campaign can be made at