One local business will be using Pancake Tuesday, the 28th of February, to raise funds for a good cause that affects many parents and children in Donegal.
The Happy Camper Cafe at Cooneys in Letterkenny are hosting a special Pancake Tuesday event in aid of iCAN Ireland. iCAN is a volunteer and parent lead network who help families with children who have juvenile arthritis.
All proceeds from the day will be given to the charity and there will be collection buckets out on the day.
Donegal Daily spoke with Letterkenny woman Fiona Wynne last year, who fundraises for iCAN and cares for her daughter Jessica.
Jessica, aged four, was diagnosed with oligoarthritis in 2015 and has faced many struggles with the condition.
Jessica has to deal with constant pain and stiffness in her joints, which limits her everyday activities.
“It would take her three hours to get her out to school in the morning,” Fiona said.
“Your heart sinks when you hear her waking up in the morning because you know she’s going to be sore.”
“She can’t walk in the morning, she can’t hold a spoon or feed herself. It’s a fight to get her to eat.”
“Everyday is a constant battle,” the mother-of-three explained.
The condition is spreading throughout the joints in her body and is preventing her from doing everyday play as a four-year-old such as riding a bike, Fiona said.
Jessica is undergoing chemotherapy treatment in the hope it will help her symptoms. However, the injection delivers the same side effects as those that come with cancer treatment.
There are 1,200 children living with juvenile arthritis in Ireland. Juvenile arthritis is a largely invisible disease, Fiona said. “To look at her, she’s perfect. It’s completely heartbreaking to see, but the child is completely crippled whenever they are getting it really bad. They are just constantly living in pain.”
The iCAN charity is 100% volunteer based and run by parents of children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. It aims to support the community of affected children in Ireland as well as raise public awareness of childhood arthritis.
The Pancake Tuesday party begins at 10am to 5pm tomorrow at The Happy Camper Cafe, Cooneys Letterkenny.
For more information on juvenile arthritis, visit icanireland.ie or call the iCAN helpline on 0868289817.