WALK FOR HEIDI: Tara Donoghue Laing from Firies, has organised the ‘Walk for Heidi’ for vital physiotherapy for two-year-old Heidi Patterson. Pictured socially distanced are: Diana Ascenso, Dave, Cailean and Daithi Laing, Tara Donoghue Laing, Romy Birdthistle, Pearl Turner and Siobhan Colborne.


By Michelle Crean

Killarney is the planned finish line for a fundraiser which is currently ongoing to help raise funds for a sick little girl.

Photographer Tara Donoghue Laing from Firies, had no option but to cancel a planned March Mother’s Day fundraiser for two-year-old Heidi Patterson due to the sudden COVID-19 lockdown.

However, she’s since enlisted the help of four others and they’re currently walking a total of 1,000km to raise funds to help Heidi, who suffers Cerebral Palsy is partially blind and deaf, get the physiotherapy she needs.

So far, over €2,000 has been raised of the €5,000 goal for the ‘Walking 1000km for Heidi’ challenge and they’re hoping more will be raised.

Those involved include Tara, her husband Dave Laing, Diana Ascenso, Siobhan Colborne and Romy Birdthistle.

“We’re walking a combined 1,000kms so it’s roughly 200kms each,” Tara told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We began on June 1 and we’re doing it for 30 days individually. We’re going to walk the finish line together in Killarney National Park, somewhere we can meet up and socially distance.”

Others, when they heard about the fundraiser, wanted to join, Tara explained, but as there’s only five of them she felt with more involved they’d have very little kilometres each to do to get to 1,000.

“They’re now doing their own walks and raising funds too. We even have people in Australia, England, Scotland and all over Ireland taking part. We’re hoping to raise funds for vital physiotherapy for Heidi. She can’t crawl or walk. They’re trying to build her muscles up to help her walk eventually. It’s heartbreaking, and puts things in perspective. We are walking to raise funds to hopefully help her to walk.”