A big-hearted group of friends and family are planning a series of fundraisers for a life-changing surgery for a special baby girl.

T.J. (Tina Joan) Needham was born with severe spina bifida meningocele. Her parents Claire, who is from Drumkeen and Jay, from Dublin, want to get specialist physiotherapy for their daughter so that one day TJ will be able to walk.

The family has a bumper summer of fundraising planned to raise the funds needed to get baby T.J. to the Peto Institute in Budapest for intensive physiotherapy and surgery. The costs are estimated at €100,000.

To reach the target, Claire’s dad Patsy Mc Daid from Stralongford, and Maggie and Charlie McDaid, cousins of T.J., are doing a skydive this July. The challenge will see them jumping 10,000ft from a plane to raise funds for T.J.’s Wish to Walk campaign.

Baby TJ and her Donegal grandad Patsy

On 12th June there will be a big country gig in Voodoo Letterkenny with all funds raised going towards baby T.J.’s treatment. Martin Orr, Garda Jack Beattie and a great mix of local musicians have come onboard to support the unmissable show. Plus, family friend Catriona Hegarty and T.J.’s dad Jay will be braving a headshave live in Voodoo Bar.

Claire and Jay are urging anyone who wants to do a good deed to consider hosting an event for T.J.. Sponsorship cards are available and a new website has been set up by Dublin man Eamon O’Farrell to share TJ’s story: https://letsgettjwalking.com/

The T.J.’s Wish to Walk GoFundMe campaign continues online at: https://gofund.me/ec103c30

Claire, Jay and T.J.

T.J. is the young couple’s miracle baby. Before she was born, doctors said T.J. would have no quality of life, but Claire and Jay never lost hope. Ever since she came into the world in October 2020,  T.J. has fought against the odds and has shown promising signs of movement in her legs. Claire and Jay were delighted to get her a place at the Peto Institute in Budapest and they are now waiting on an appointment date this summer. 

Claire said: “Our Little Princess deserves this. If anyone wants to organise any fundraising please contact me or any family member. Big or small, all the help is needed to get TJ to Budapest in a few months. Thanks to everyone who has helped and donated so far really means a lot for our little angel to get the chance to walk and she will, little warrior.”

Visit the main fundraising page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/life-changing-treatment-for-t-j/

Get in touch with Claire via the Facebook page:  Princess T.j Needham fundraising