By Rose Barrett
Nora Arthur and her twin brother Daithí are 18 months old this week. Nora is a good humoured, happy child with a beaming smile – a profile smile that has seen almost €111,000 contributed to a fundraiser for three Dublin charities.
Nora was diagnosed with a rare terminal brain tumour in May 2020, a total shock and heartbreak for her parents Eva and Neil who live in Raheny.
“Nora got sick overnight,” Eva told Dublin Gazette. “We simply thought it was a vomiting bug but when it didn’t get any better, we brought her into Temple Street Hospital for a scan.
“A second deeper scan was called for – she had so much fluid that by midnight she’d had emergency surgery. From Temple St, we went to the Children’s Health Foundation Crumlin.”
Eva revealed: “Despite the dreadful diagnosis, and treatment Nora had to undergo, I didn’t fear going in there. The nurses and all the staff were so welcoming and supportive – they still ring us every day.”
With the wonderful support of CHF Crumlin, Aoibheann’s Pink Tie and Laura Lynn, Eva and Neil decided to set up a fundraiser – Dipper for the Nippers – and to have Nora involved.
“We were keen that Nora would be a part of it all, so we needed something that wouldn’t take from our time with Nora. Neil does in for a dip every day, at the Bull Wall and we take Nora down to watch.
“She sees them getting in and out of the water, and loves it! She loves being the centre of attention.”
Eva has a special mention for Clontarf GAA whose members started with a one-minute swim on November 1 and by November 21 were up to 21 minutes.
She said: “We are so touched by the goodwill and generosity. My yoga teacher, Melissa Curtis, donated the fees from a class. I went to her during pregnancy, and afterwards with the twins for baby yoga and massage.”
Choosing the three charities was a no brainer for Eva and Neil.
“From the beginning we got a pack out from Aoibheann’s Pink Tie,” Eva revealed. “Nora has a line in her chest and has to wear a special vest. APT sent her out vests and dressing with characters on them, plus an overnight bag for Norah and I.
“They even organised a Rainbow date for Nora and the family. We had a weekend stay in Powerscourt, with afternoon tea.
Daithí, a typical little boy who loves diggers and trucks was thrilled when three fire engines arrived at the hotel – a major hit with the twins.
Eva revealed: “Nora is still in good humour, but with less energy and sleeps a lot more. The twins used to fight over toys, but now Daithí has become very caring towards her, gets her bunny rabbit for her, gives her the soother or bottle.
“Laura Lynn is a constant support with regular artwork of handprints and foot prints. Living in Raheny, we didn’t need the accommodation but they organised music therapy every week.
“Both the twins love it.”
Monies raised will be split evenly between the three charities, to be spent helping other families of children with cancer and life limiting conditions.
The couple are overwhelmed with the response from the public and wish to acknowledge the great support from friends, extended family and the wider community.
As for Christmas? “For Daithí, it’s anything with wheels,” said Eva, “but for Nora, it’s anything from ‘In the Night Garden’, she is mad about that.” To donate visit: https://ie.gofundme.com/f/dipper-for-the-nippers