THE plight of a little Graiguecullen girl living with serious illness has touched the hearts of all in Carlow, with numerous events planned to help make life as comfortable as possible for beautiful Princess Ali.
Five-year-old Ali, daughter of PJ and Bernadene Byrne, has progressive myoclonic epilepsy, a severe and rare disease which, in Ali’s case, is now at a palliative stage.
Due to the severity of Ali’s condition, she can no longer walk, talk, eat or drink and she has extremely limited movement. Ali is currently cared for in the family’s home by her devoted parents, who are hoping to extend care facilities at their home to help make their time with Ali as comfortable as possible.
The community of Carlow has been moved by the courage of little Ali and have rallied to host a series of fundraising events in aid of the Princess Ali Fund. Last week, the Princess Ali Fund received a €1,000 donation from Shaws Department Store, Carlow, which won first prize in a national window-dressing competition organised by Green Angel skincare and sponsored by Guaranteed Irish.
The cheque was presented to mum Bernadene by former Miss Ireland and face of Green Angel skincare, Holly Carpenter, along with director of Guaranteed Irish Tom Rea and co-owners of Green Angel skincare Chris and Mary Mitchell at Shaws of Carlow.
This Friday, 27 March, Little Learners playgroup will hold a sale of children’s artwork in aid of the fund, while Tots Playgroup has also got on board to host a pyjama dress-up.
This Saturday night, 28 March, a benefit night will be held in the Éire Óg clubhouse, while on Sunday a Princess Ali Pamper Party will be hosted in The Tower, Dinn Rí from 2pm.
On 3 April, a 24-hour bootcamp led by Paul Ward will be held at Carlow Hurling Club, while on Saturday 4 April a ‘trims and tiaras’ dress-up day with take place in a number of Carlow hairdressers, including Lynda Maher, Identity, Mojo, Scissors, Flair and Zazzeo.
There’ll be head shaves and hair dyes galore in the Éire Óg clubhouse on Friday 10 April, while a brave PJ Hayden will take on a skydive on 11 April in aid of the Princess Ali Fund.
In Carlow Town Hurling Club on 19 April there’s a children’s jumble sale taking place from noon, while on Saturday 25 April a rock night will be held in Scraggs.
Watch out for bag packers in Dunnes Stores on the May bank holiday weekend in aid of the Princess Ali Fund, while on Saturday 2 May there’s a head shave planned for the Glenside, Killeshin.
Several ladies have already committed to taking part in the ladies’ mini-marathon in June in aid of the Princess Ali Fund, while bag packing will take place in Tesco on the weekend of 26/27 June.
On 12 July, a Disney dress-up party will be held in St Laurence O’Toole’s, while two raffles are currently taking place for an iPad Mini in Brian Hennessy’s Topaz garage and for a TV and DVD player in O’Reilly Oil in Graiguecullen.
Fundraising for the Princess Ali Fund will culminate with a gala night in the Seven Oaks Hotel on Friday 21 August. Many other events will take place over the coming weeks, so please support and help the Princess Ali Fund.
The Byrne family would like to sincerely thank all the businesses that have supported the fundraising, as well as the many individuals for their kind donations.