Sandra with sons Conor and Sean
Gleesons pub in Irishtown Clonmel will host another musical marathon to provide an outlet for the public to support a woman travelling to Mexico for medical treatment in July .
This Sunday Gleesons will rock to some of the best bands in the south east to raise funds for a Clonmel mother of two young boys.
Sandra Connolly, who is married to Paul, and they have two boys Conor and Sean, is going to Mexico in the hope that stem cell treatment can halt the progress of Multiple Sclerosis which has taken over her life.
Sandra believes the treatment, which is not available in this country and is only being trialled in the UK at the moment, is her last hope of trying to stop the frightening progression of her multiple sclerosis.
Sandra, who had an active life of work, enjoying sports and playing with her two sons before the debilitating disease struck, is intent on travelling to Monterey to attend the renowned Clinica Ruiz in July.
Sandra and her husband Paul McLaren, a world masters powerlifter from Omagh, have made the decision to go for the treatment as she is running out of time as her quality of life rapidly deteriorates.
“I can't play football with my two boys any more, they have to help me more and more around the house to do small tasks you would take for granted like running into the chipper. Gradually it is becoming a reversal of the normal parent/child
relationship in terms of care. If one of them falls I can't go to pick them up. It is heartbreaking not to be able to do that” said Sandra.
“I would accept life as it is now. The disease is in my spine now but I want to stop it progressing to my hands and upper body and this treatment is my best chance. I want to go for this treatment now because if it is left any longer it will have gone too far and I would not be able to have the treatment”, said Sandra.
A fundraising campaign for Sanie(as she is known to her friends) was launched a few weeks ago and a Go Fund page
has attracted massive support.
A large number of events have already been held to support Sanie but Sunday promises to be one of the biggest of the campaign.
Richie Gleeson in Irishtown, his staff and Alan McCormack of the local band The Pearly Whites have all been involved in organising massive fundraisers in recent years for young people from the town.
Marathon music sessions were held for Evan Hickey and last year for Emma Lacey and this year huge crowds are again expected to attend what is a fantastic day out.
“This is a very important event for the campaign, one of the biggest we will be holding and we are hoping it will be well supported” said Michelle Kavanagh one of the organisers of the music marathon and a member of the Sanie's Trust campaign group which is co-ordinated by Peadar Furlong.
“At the moment the members of seven top bands , with more to come, have committed to giving up their time to participate on the day” said Michelle.
Michelle paid tribute to Richie Gleeson, his staff and all involved for organising the event to support Sandra.
“We are delighted that Richie and his team are happy to do all this work again.It is a great day out.The response to the campaign has been absolutely fantastic, people have been extremely generous and kind” said Michelle.
Tickets for the music marathon are available from Specsavers where Sandra used to work. A minimum admission fee of €5 will apply on the door of Gleesons on Sunday.
The bands due to perform on the day include The Pearly Whites, Super Soul Machine, The Waheys and Thank Funk.
The music will start at 3pm and will continue late into the night.