Leon's Lifeline Cooking Demo with Rachel Allen

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Location

Limerick Strand Hotel

Ennis Road

V94 03F2 Limerick

Ireland

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Event description
This event is part of the Leon's Lifeline fundraising campaign, to send Leon O'Connor to Russia for HSCT stem cell therapy.

About this Event

September 25th at 6.30pm sees a food and fun packed evening with celebrity chef Rachel Allen who is kindly donating her time and talents to entertain Limerick audiences with a cooking demo in aid of the Leon's Lifeline fundraising campaign.

Leon O'Connor has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis which is affecting his life severely and he has chosen to raise funds to travel to Russia where he can avail of potentially life-changing HSCT stem cell therapy.

The night in the Strand will kick off with a wine reception where audience members can place bids on some amazing prizes in our silent auction. Local chef and food ambassador Tom Flavin will kick off the proceedings with a cooking demo of some of his much loved dishes. Rachel then takes centre stage to entertain us with a demonstration of some delicious autumn dishes.

Two lucky participants will win the prize of getting to enjoy the prepared dishes as they are made.

All proceeds will go to helping to save the health of this vibrant young Limerick man.

Check out our GoFundMe page here: gofundme.com/f/leons-lifeline

About Leon

Leon O’Connor from Limerick was diagnosed with MS in 2016, when he was just 18 years old and about to sit his Leaving Cert exams. The news shocked his family and turned their lives upside down. They have done everything they can to help Leon, through medications, diet and lifestyle changes, yet Leon’s disease has taken hold. Leon is dealing with his MS as best as he can but his symptoms affect every moment of his life, severely curtailing his everyday activities, things he can do and what he can look forward to. Leon suffers from loss of feeling in his legs which now makes walking very difficult. He has extreme fatigue so he is exhausted all the time. He is also losing sensation in his left hand, which makes it difficult to hold things. The vision in one of his eyes has greatly diminished which is potentially devastating as Leon is an artist. He is studying Animation at Limerick School of Art & Design and wants more than anything to finish his degree and work in this industry. He lives for his art.

These are just some of the issues Leon is dealing with every day. He has been diagnosed with secondary progressive MS. This is when the disease takes hold and is harder to manage. Leon’s quality of life is very poor compared to other 21 year old young people. He can’t go out at night, he can’t go anywhere alone any more and needs constant help in his everyday tasks. This has also taken a huge toll on his family, both financially and emotionally.

The options available to Leon to improve his condition are extremely limited in Ireland. But there is hope in the form of HSCT stem cell therapy. This type of treatment is not available at present for MS sufferers in Ireland, so Leon and his family have decided to travel to a reputable clinic abroad where Leon can avail of this therapy which might stop his disease from progressing and may even reverse the disease completely. Leon and his family have met with several people who have received this treatment with life-changing results and they want to give Leon the same opportunity for better health so that he can live a more normal life and have a bright and healthy future.

HSCT stands for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. This type of stem cell treatment involves having Leon’s own healthy stem cells harvested and stored. Leon will then go into isolation and his white blood B cells (the key players in his immune system) will be treated with chemotherapy before his own healthy stem cells are re-introduced. While this is a severe therapy, the success rates are high and Leon’s family have gone to great lengths to find a clinic with a good reputation. Leon will have to go abroad for this treatment and he has been offered a date in November 2019. HSCT only has a chance of working with people who are at a certain level of disability and Leon is almost at the cut-off point so he needs to get there as soon as possible.

To cover the costs of the therapy, travel costs and accommodation, as well as any help needed by way of special equipment and targeted physiotherapy, we need to raise €70,000. This will be done with your help by supporting the events Leon's family and friends are organising, and by donating to this campaign to raise this vital money.

Donate here: gofundme.com/f/leons-lifeline

Date and Time

Location

Limerick Strand Hotel

Ennis Road

V94 03F2 Limerick

Ireland

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