Farming community rallies for young Andrew McFarland

Graham and Joanne McFarland with son Andrew 8, and Faith 6, are raising funds for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice which cares for Andrew at home and at hospice
Graham and Joanne McFarland with son Andrew 8, and Faith 6, are raising funds for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice which cares for Andrew at home and at hospice

The British Limousin Cattle Society will host a charity auction in Ballymena this month where proceeds from the sale of two Limousin embryos will be donated to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

The auction, on May 7th, will raise funds for the charity after Howard McFarland, who runs the Rahoney Herd in Trillick, Co Tyrone, donated the embryos in recognition of the care his nephew Andrew receives from Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice at home and at hospice.

Andrew McFarland, who is just eight years of age, is living with a rare neurodegenerative condition – a variant form of Late Infantile Batten Disease (CLN5) which causes blindness, complex epilepsy, loss of mobility and the ability to communicate.

His parents Graham and Joanne are also from the farming community

Other farming members of the British Limousin Cattle Society have rallied behind the Tyrone-based McFarland family and have donated embryos that will be sold at auction on May 5th in Carlisle.

Andrew’s father Graham said: “We thought Andrew wouldn’t make it through Christmas at one stage, but thankfully he did, and being at Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice allowed us to spend time together as a family after two months of being separated by hospital stays.

“The nurses and other staff gave up their time at Christmas so we could spend the special time together. We will always be grateful to them for that.”

He added: “The staff at Northern Ireland Hospice are simply amazing, nothing whatsoever is a problem for them.

“There was always someone on hand if needed and we were looked after in every way. We managed to have some very valuable quality time with our close family.”

British Limousin Cattle Society member David Hamill said the farming community was “making regular donations” to support Graham and his family.

Mr Hamill, who runs the Cloverdale Herd in Dunmurry, can be contacted on 07885 216578 or dahamill@hotmail.com regarding the club’s fundraising efforts.

The family also has justgiving page for donations to Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-butcher4.

The McFarland family wish to thank NI Children’s Hospice for the care and 
ongoing support through fundraising, and all who had donated funds and organised events.