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Best foot forward for Buddy Bear Pupil

It was a case of 'best foot forward' for the family members of Buddy Bear School pupil, Daniel Mimnagh, as they braved the torrential rain to complete the Waterside half marathon in Londonderry on Sunday, September 9th, 2012.

Relatives of Daniel decided to do the Derry City Half Marathon after seeing the amazing progress Daniel was making at the conductive education school in Dungannon, family members wanted to raise some money for The Buddy Bear Trust and do their bit to help the school which has helped so many children.

On your marks!

Daniel has a rare neuro genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome which means he has severe difficulties with balance and co-ordination. He cannot walk or crawl and has very poor grip. However Daniel has benefited greatly from the intensive input that Conductive Education has provided at Buddy Bear Trust School in Dungannon since he started last year. He can now sit unaided and is taking steps.

Family members were appalled at the funding difficulties The Buddy Bear Trust School is having and the lack of support from Local Education Boards.

Turnout for the Half Marathon was amazing despite the severe rain! Twelve runners and walkers from the Mimnagh, Hunter, Corr, Kyle and Crowe family donned their running shoes as various participants competed in the full half marathon, relay race, 10-mile walk and 2k fun run to show their support and appreciation as a family.

Daniel, his little brother, parents, grandparents and cousins completed the 2k family fun run / walk and Daniel received a medal!

All money raised goes directly to Buddy Bear Trust School. Final amounts are being collected but the family has estimated that over £1000 has been raised for their efforts.

Daniel with his conductor Ildiko and classroom assistant Maria


Daniel began back at the school in Dungannon this week and proudly showed off his medal to his school friends and Principal Conductor Ildiko Veres - who said “I’m delighted for Daniel that he was able to participate in such an event and to see him able to take his own steps independently. It’s a great boost to our new school year to see one of our pupils’ hard work being rewarded”.

Brendan McConville, chairman of the Buddy Bear Trust said “Daniel and his parents should be congratulated for working so closely with our Principal Conductor Ms Ildiko Veres to achieve this current level of success in his abilities. It is clear from his enthusiasm that Daniel enjoys being active like any other young boy of his age".

McConville, a former Education Officer, said “I would like to thank all the family and supporters for their generosity and I hope others will join with us in helping children who simply want to be able to do what we take for granted. We need to raise over £150,000 per year to maintain the services offered by the Buddy Bear Trust School and we have to rely mainly on the support from others, support the wider community is essential.

Many more children in Northern Ireland could be helped through conductive education at our school, and the efforts shown here will help us to raise greater awareness among parents about options available to them locally and the obvious benefits of conductive education for children with motor disorders. There are no miracles but some children who were given little hope now live more independent lives through the work of The Buddy Bear Trust School”.

Daniel with his mum with Gold medal back in school


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