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Kentucky rows in behind Killasser’s Róisín


Roisin Tansey
?Roisin Tansey.

Kentucky rows in behind Killasser’s Róisín

Ciara Galvin

A mother and daughter from Killasser, near Swinford, appeared on local TV in Kentucky last week following a gesture of goodwill from the local Irish community. The pair, Breda and Róisín Tansey, have travelled to Louisville, Kentucky, for what is hoped will be life-changing treatment for Róisín, who is paralysed.
Breda has described the generosity that she and her daughter have received as ‘unbelievable’.
Róisín suffered a spinal-cord injury at the age of three-and-a-half after a simple fall on a sofa. Since then, the people of Mayo have gathered around the Tansey family, providing them with emotional and financial support.
Róisín is taking part in a three-month round of intensive rehabilitation at the world-class Frazier Rehabilitation Institute.
With Breda staying with Róisín in Louisville for the extended period throughout her treatment, the Tansey family are faced with both medical bills and living expenses.
Róisín’s treatment involves using a treadmill-like machine known as a locomat, each day for an hour while physiotherapists and specialists work on her legs and arms.
Twenty sessions on this machine is €5,000 alone and Breda estimates that between medical bills and living costs, she and her husband are faced with bills in the region of €40,000.
“We couldn’t have come over here without the support of people in Swinford and Mayo,” she said. “Róisín is determined to get better. If this benefits her in anyway we will do as much as we can to make it happen.”  

Swell of support
As word of Róisín’s plight spreads, the people of Louisville are rallying behind the family.
Cork man and Louisville bar owner Tadhg O’Callaghan heard about Róisín’s story through the tight-knit Irish community in the US town, and he held a fundraiser in his bar, Molly Malone’s, last Friday night.
After hearing about the fundraiser, local TV station WLKY caught up with Breda and Róisín to see how they are getting on.
Speaking to The Mayo News on the day of the fundraiser, Breda said she’s been blown away by the local reaction in Louisville.
“It’s just unbelievable. A local woman, Peggy, who works for the mayor here told people about us, and now the GAA club here are getting involved. I’ve already received an email from a girl living here whose boyfriend is Irish, and she has offered to teach Róisín. The goodwill has been unbelievable,” said the mother of four.
Meanwhile, back in Mayo, Breda’s husband Damien is busy training for a local white-collar-boxing fundraising event next month, which is being organised by Knockmore/Foxford boxing club.
The event still has four vacancies for males and females over 18 years with little or no boxing experience. To take part in the event, which takes place in the middle of March, simply drop into the Knockmore/Foxford Boxing Club gym next Sunday morning at 10am.