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Funds raised for Caoimhe to see Disneyland before disease takes her sight

By Rebecca Black

Published 30/01/2016

Caoimhe Burns
Caoimhe Burns
Caoimhe Burns with her mum and sister

A little girl who is going blind is to experience a sight to remember at Disneyland thanks to a fundraising campaign.

Brave Caoimhe Burns (3), who has already gone blind in one eye, will lose her vision over time because of a genetic condition called optic neuropathy.

She was diagnosed just before Christmas, but since then her condition has deteriorated rapidly. She now has just 30% vision in her left eye and none in her right.

Her mother Deirdre, from Kircubbin, Co Down, was determined to give Caoimhe the experience of a lifetime before the worst happens, by taking her to Disneyland in Paris.

She launched an online fundraising effort with plans for a mud run in Cork, where her brother lives, and a fun day at St Comgall's Parish Centre in Bangor.

However, just a week later, their story has touched so many hearts that the family have already exceeded their £3,500 target.

Deirdre said that while Caoimhe, who is due to travel to France in March, loves Mickey and Minnie Mouse, she is most excited to meet Elsa and Anna from Frozen.

She also told how she had been completely overwhelmed by the generosity she had seen.

The family plans to continue fundraising so they can make modifications to their home that will help ensure Caoimhe's safety when she loses her sight, as well as buying equipment they will need in the future.

"People's generosity has been way beyond our expectations," Deirdre said.

"The excess money we have raised will go towards preparing for the future for Caoimhe.

"She could completely lose her sight in a couple of weeks, or a couple of months or a couple of years.

"No one can tell us, but we want to prepare to make sure she has everything she needs and will be safe."

Caoimhe is confident negotiating her way around her home and has the layout memorised, but that changes in places she does not know so well.

Caoimhe's older sister, Cara (9), and brother Lorcan (13) are already lovingly protective of their sibling.

A fundraising fun day will be held for Caoimhe on Saturday, March 5 at St Comgalls parish centre on the Brunswick Road in Bangor from 11am until 4pm

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