A kind-hearted Letterkenny woman will be losing her locks this Sunday to help a little girl in her wish to walk.

Catriona Hegarty from Drumany doesn’t know little TJ Needham, but the toddler’s story has touched her heart in many ways.

One-year-old TJ (Tina Joan) who was born with severe spina bifida meningocele has been a little warrior all her life. Her parents Claire McDaid, from Drumkeen and Jay, from Dublin, want to get specialist physiotherapy for their daughter so that one day TJ will be able to walk.

Catriona, a healthcare assistant, was so moved by little TJ’s story that she volunteered to do a head shave this Sunday. Catriona will be saying goodbye to her long dark hair at a big country fundraiser in Voodoo lounge this Sunday 13th June from 5pm-9pm. TJ’s dad Jay is also signed up for the close shave.

Catriona and her husband Eugene Kelly

A head shave may be a big challenge for many, but for Catriona, her goal is to raise as much money as possible to give TJ her best chance. (Visit the GoFundMe Campaign here)

Catriona got the opportunity to help the campaign when asked by her friend and TJ’s cousin Maggie Pyper McDaid, who is doing a skydive for the fund. 

“When you see photos of TJ it just pulls at the heartstrings,” Caitriona said.

Catriona is feeling calm about Sunday. She knows that her hair will grow back, but the purpose she said, is about helping a family in need.

“When you work with people with intellectual disabilities you see families suffering. You are so grateful for what you do have and you see the costs that other people face,” she said.

TJ’s parents need to raise around €100,000 for specialist surgery and intensive physiotherapy at the Peto Institute in Budapest starting from October. The treatment will involve having TJ’s legs straightened, her feet straightened and tendons put in both feet and ankles.

“Our Little Princess deserves this,” said Claire. TJ has had a challenging start to life, put the promising signs of movement she shows in her legs gives her parents hope every day that she will walk.

Don’t miss the fun country evening at Voodoo Letterkenny this Sunday with Martin Orr, Honorary Garda Jack Beatty, Maria McCormack, Jean Curran, The Letterkenny Accordian Band, Marty Friel and more!

And next month, Claire’s dad Patsy Mc Daid from Stralongford, and Maggie and Charlie McDaid, cousins of T.J., are doing a skydive!

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

Follow TJ’s journey at: Princess T.j Needham fundraising