Cattle breeders have rallied around a Northern Ireland boy fighting a rare illness by putting valuable cow embryos up for sale in an unusual auction that has raised £22,000 for charity.
The British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) hosted the charity auction in Ballymena last month where proceeds from the sale of two Limousin embryos will be donated to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
Eight-year-old Andrew McFarland is living with a rare neurodegenerative condition – a variant form of Late Infantile Batten Disease (CLN5) which causes blindness, complex epilepsy, loss of mobility and the ability to communicate. The auction raised the funds for the charity after Howard McFarland, who runs the Rahoney Herd in Trillick, donated the embryos in recognition of the care his nephew Andrew receives.
Other farming members of the BLCS rallied behind the McFarland family and donated embryos that were sold at another auction in Carlisle recently. The combined effort, which includes a JustGiving page, has raised £22,000 to date.
The McFarland family thanked the BLCS members, not only by the outstanding donations but also from the willing purchasers and those who gave up their time in the planning and preparation of the fundraising events.
“The entire family circle is totally amazed by the kindness and generosity shown by so many at the auctions held at Carlisle and Ballymena in support of the NI Children’s Hospice, we deeply appreciate the support received from The British Limousin Cattle Society and its members,” Andrew’s father Graham said.
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