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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 26 August, 2019
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32 gigs in 32 counties: Dad sets out to raise money for son's cerebral palsy equipment

Jarrah Folkman was born with several disabilities, and his needs are becoming more pronounced as he gets older.

DSC_7100 Source: E Burke

THE FATHER OF a young boy with several debilitating disabilities will begin travelling around the country today playing 32 gigs in 32 counties to raise money for his son.

Jarrah Folkman (5) from Cootehill in Co Cavan was born with a range of conditions – quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which affects all four limbs, CVI blindness, a condition affecting sight that is caused by the brain rather than eye, and refractory (uncontrolled) epilepsy.

His father, Ben Folkman, is hoping to raise money to futureproof the facilities and equipment they have for him. As he gets older, it gets harder to lift him, and so specialist equipment will need to be bought.

With a fundraising target of €40,000, Ben is hoping to improve Jarrah’s quality of life in various ways, such as buying a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or buying sensory items not covered by grants.

“I was getting sick and tired of waiting lists and just waiting for things to happen,” Ben told TheJournal.ie.

” I said I’ll bite the bullet and just went for it myself.”

DSC_7152 Source: E Burke

Ben said that Jarrah is a happy, always smiling boy, but can miss out on some things that other children enjoy, such as being able to easily take a trip to the park or to go swimming.

This will only become more difficult as he gets older, and so Ben says it’s crucial to make sure they’re ready to meet his needs in future.

“There’s no point waiting five, ten years.”

Posted by on Monday, 26 August 2019

Starting from today in Louth, Ben and five other musicians aim to play a gig in each county over the next seven days for Jammin’ For Jarrah, averaging around four a day on the streets and in shopping centres during the day and in pubs at night.

Ben said that while it’s going to be a hard slog, it’s not compared to what Jarrah goes through each day – “and that’s what this is all about”.

Read: How a dip in a pool can help open up a new world for children with autism >

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Nicky Ryan

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