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Birthday girl who went without presents to help friend
by NEIL GREENLEES
Kate McGurnahan cuts her birthday cake at her birthday party last week Kate McGurnahan and little Sam McCausland together in the garden during her seventh birthday party.
Kate McGurnahan cuts her birthday cake at her birthday party last week Kate McGurnahan and little Sam McCausland together in the garden during her seventh birthday party.

A MOIRA Primary Schoolgirl demonstrated real selflessness recently when she sacrificed the opportunity to receive birthday presents in favour of making a donation to a charity set up to help fund the search for a muscular dystrophy cure.

Kate McGurnahan told her mum Gayle she wanted to mark her seventh birthday by making a donation to 'pleasefixsam, established recently by the parents of Hillsborough toddler Sam McCausland after he was found to be suffering from the invariably fatal condition.

The little girl, whose actions added 230 to the group's coffers, explained she wanted people to give money to the charity instead of using it to buy birthday gifts.

Gayle is a close friend of Sam's parents Tracy and William. Tracy said her little boy frequently played with Kate and her one year old sister Anna with whom he was 'madly besotted'.

She said Kate had been really upset when Gayle told her Sam had 'something wrong with his muscles' and his parents were raising money so the 'clever doctors could make some medicine to help him.

Tracy continued: "Totally of her own volition she asked her mummy if it would be OK for her to ask everyone not to buy her any presents for her birthday and instead give some money to help Sam and the other boys with broken muscles.

"I believe her mummy had to fight through the tears to tell her this was a lovely thing to do and how very generous it was. I just feel that Kate really deserves a medal."

Sam, who really enjoyed Kate's birthday party, has another treat to look forward to on Monday June 16 when he will travel to London with his mother to join more than 100 other boys affected by muscular dystrophy and their families.

Tracy explained the group intends to lobby parliament to raise the profile of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy on the government's agenda.

"Questions will be tabled in parliament on the day and we are also asking people to write to their local MP's asking them to help," she added. The trip to London will take place just two days after Tracy, William and a host of the charity's supporters take part in a sponsored parachute jump to raise funds.

It's not too late to join them as Tracy explained: "We are looking for volunteers to throw themselves out of a perfectly good plane to help us raise funds for research into Muscular Dystrophy," she continued.

Jumpers must be aged between 14 and 60 and there is a weight limit of 15 stone for men and 13 for women. Each jumper will be asked for a commitment fee of 40 which is non-refundable. The cost of the jump is 200 so we will be requesting a minimum sponsorship of 350 in the hope people will be able to raise much more."

Sponsorship forms can be obtained on the charity's website www.pleasefixsam.com

neil.greenless@jpress.co.uk

Ulster Star
06/06/2008