THE father of a sick baby girl who shaved off his long hair at a fundraiser in Clan na Gael GFC has raised approximately e5,000 for Our Lady's Childrens' Hospital, Crumlin.
Brian Ward from Ashbrook, Dundalk said that shaving off his beloved locks is worth it, if it helps to keep his four-month-old daughter, Brianna, who has a heart condition, alive for longer.
"It's a big adjustment because I had been growing my hair for the past eight years. It's quite cold but at least I didn't have to shave it off a few weeks ago when it was snowing," said Brian.
Brian's daughter, has been diagnosed with a heart condition called Aortic valve stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve, which impairs the ability of the heart to pump blood around the body.
She had to have an operation to widen the valve at just five-weeks-old. Since then her condition has improved dramatically, however, she will have to undergo another surgery later this year.
The fundraiser took place in Clan na Gael GFC on Saturday last. To date over e3,500 has been donated by generous family, friends and neighbours to the worthy cause, however, Brian expects the total figure to reach e5,000 when it is all fully counted.
"The people of this town went overboard, considering there is a recession and that it's January. I'm very grateful to everyone who made donations and to those who contributed to the night," said Brian.
"One guy I hadn't seen in a long time, James Rogen, who works in Heatons, offered to have one eyebrow waxed for the highest bidder. He got e100 for it. We took off the other eyebrow too for the craic. Scoil Eoin Baiste and the Redeemer Girls and Boys Schools both had no-uniform days and have donated the proceeds."
l Brian Ward