Superhero fanatic Noah (6) and farming-mad Rowan (4) Benson-Gately were diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), in January of this year.
Their parents are Sean Gately, a native of Dysart, Roscommon, and Bianca Benson, from Athlone. Sean is a brother to two well known Ballinasloe faces, Michael who works for Tony Carroll butchers and Anita Gately Burke, of Keller Travel for many years on Main Street. The Bensons are a well-known musical family from Athlone.
The condition is a progressive neuromuscular disorder, causes the muscles in the body to become weak, primarily in the hips and legs. DMD has no known cure, to date.
“To receive this diagnosis for both our sons was surreal and is still extremely difficult to comprehend” , sated Mum Bianca.
As time goes on, more and more support will be needed to ensure their passage through childhood and development is as smooth as possible in the circumstances, and in response, local community people of the Dysart/Ballyforan, launched the Noah & Rowan Benson-Gately Support Group in summer of this year.
Bianca and Sean are honest in acknowledging that the road ahead “ is not quite the life we had hoped or planned for our children , the road ahead will be tough but with the love and support of our families, friends and community ; we hope to make the journey a little easier for Noah and Rowan”.
The group is a community response to create a fund to support the development of the two boys and may also be used to cover any other unexpected financial burden associated with their wellbeing and quality of life. The Noah & Rowan Benson-Gately Support Group is also dedicated to raising awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy while supporting the practical needs of Noah & Rowan into the future.
Earlier this year, a gofundme page at https://ie.gofundme.com/f/noah-and-rowan-bensongately-support-group was launched which introduced the family and their story to the wider public.
A family fun Cycle/Walk took place in August and a River Suck Decent Challenge where a group of hardy local volunteers, paddled the full 120km length of the Suck in Kayaks,! Both events we warmly supported. “ We have been truly touched by the enormous outpouring of compassion shown to us and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to each and everyone for their support” states Bianca.
The next initiative is a fundraising draw where on Jan 2nd 2021, one lucky person will win a brand new Volkswagen Golf 8. Tickets are available online at www.winagolf.ie or from any of our committee members.
The group would like to acknowledge the support of Michael Moore car sales in Athlone and DPD who have made the whole event possible. Their support has enabled the group to offer this great prize and professionally set up the winagolf.ie website while promoting ticket sales through both their extensive networks. Ticket prices are 1 for €20, 3 for €50 and 7 for €100.
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