On the 2nd May 2014, O’Tooles GAA club ran a benefit night for Mark Fitzpatrick and Wendy Griffin to support their son who has a rare form of epilepsy. Eric was born on July 22 2013 in the Rotunda Hospital. Just 21 hours after he was born, Eric started having seizures. It was soon discovered that he had KCNQ2 Encephalopathy, a rare form of epilepsy.
KCNQ2 is a gene involved in the proper functioning of a potassium channel in the brain. Abnormal changes, or mutations, in the gene are associated with seizures.
Eric is one of only 90 cases in the world, and was the youngest person diagnosed with the condition. It is also believed his is the only known case in Ireland. Mark is a long time member of O’Tooles and the club lent its support by organising a benefit night in the clubhouse for Eric.
The night itself featured music, a charity auction and raffle. A great night was had by all and a total of €9,500 was raised for Eric’s Heroes. O’Tooles would like to thank all of the community for rallying around Mark and Wendy in their time of need. O’Tooles Chairman, Andy Cunningham remarked “O’Tooles is a cornerstone of the community, this was our way of giving back to long time member Mark and his family”. Mark and Wendy were part of the driving force behind the recent movement to return discretionary medical cards and the success of this movement is a testament to their passion and hard work. O’Tooles would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best for the future.
Pictured : O’Tooles Chairman Andy Cunnigham, Wendy Griffin and Mark Fitzpatrick.