Local funnyman takes centre stage to help sick toddler
COALISLAND comedian, Diarmuid Corr, has joined forces with a young Tyrone woman who successfully fought the Department of Health for funding to a potentially life-saving drug, to help the family of a brave toddler currently battling an aggressive form of childhood cancer.
Ailis Corey, from Kildress, is fighting Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, for the second time at the age of 30.
After two different forms of chemotherapy treatment failed to clear the condition, Ailis recently challenged health authorities to receive funding for a new drug, which is currently available to cancer patients in England but not in Northern Ireland.
With the support of local Sinn Fein members, Michelle Gildernew MP, and MLAs Michelle O’Neill and Barry McElduff, Ailis’ case was taken to the highest levels of the Department of Health and, last month, she learned that the funding would be made available to her.
Not content to rest on her laurels now that her own very personal battle has been won, Ailis has thrown her energies into helping the family of young Oscar Knox, a three year-old boy whose mother hails from Tyrone, raise a staggering £250,000 for treatment in Germany or the USA.
Oscar, from Belfast, has become something of a media sensation after his parents’ account of his fight against neuroblastoma became a global hit on Twitter.
According to Ailis, the most effective type of treatment for Oscar’s condition - immunotherapy - is not available in the UK, and so the Knox family are planning to travel abroad to seek this essential medical help.
To help their fundraising drive, the Ailis Corey Support Fund has organised a special comedy night at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Saturday, August 11.
Featuring Diarmuid Corr, star of BBC NI show Sketchy, along with a host of other local funny men including MC Paddy McDonnell, Cormac O’Donnell and Johnny McCarthy, the proceeds of the night will go towards helping Oscar get the treatment he needs.
Members of The Ailis Corey Support Fund, who have been inspired by this beautiful little boy’s fighting spirit, are hoping local people will get behind the Knox family and show their support by coming along to what should be a great night out.
Ailis told the Tyrone Times: “We wanted to play a small role in helping to get Oscar the treatment he deserves. Oscar’s mummy Leona recently told me that Oscar is a little joker, so we thought that this comedy night would be a great way to raise money and help the Knox family to reach the huge target of £250,000 that is needed to help Oscar to get better. Plus I am a strong believer that laughter really is the best medicine!”
Tickets for the ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine Comedy Night’ at the Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown on Saturday August 11 are only £10 and should be purchased in advance.
Tickets are on sale now from the Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown, The Synk Hair Salon, Cookstown, and Una’s Hairhut, Kildress, or by contacting ‘The Ailis Corey Support Fund’ by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.facebook.com/ailiscoreysupportfund
Doors open at 8pm and the show will commence at 8.30pm. The event is for over 18s only and may contain adult humour.
A special raffle will also take place on the night, with some terrific prizes on offer, including a DVD signed by legendary Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan and tickets to see Portstewart funny man Jimeoin’s upcoming performance at the Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre, Cookstown.
To find out more about The Oscar Knox Appeal or to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/oscarappeal or follow Oscar on Twitter @wee_oscar
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