Little Zoey radiates joy

RALLY AROUND: The Donoghue family Zoey, Josh, Hayley and Lily will be supported in October to financially aid ongoing medical treatment.
RALLY AROUND: The Donoghue family Zoey, Josh, Hayley and Lily will be supported in October to financially aid ongoing medical treatment. Mike Richards

ZOEY O'Donohue's smile illuminates the hearts of everyone she meets.

The three-year-old might have cerebral palsy, but her smiling, happy and lively face is the first thing you notice.

Ongoing medical expenses, travel costs and time away from work present financial obstacles for the O'Donohue family, and Gladstone wants to help.

Ride For Zoey, on October 4 and 5, provides a long weekend with a family-friendly atmosphere and a chance to help out the youngster's family.

Dad Josh O'Donohue said community efforts to make his family's financial burden a little lighter was astounding.

"It means the world to us," he said.

"Gladstone is a beautiful place to bring your kids up.

"I was born here and we want to raise our family here.

"But that also means that we have to travel to receive medical treatment."

Medical procedures, therapy, botox and disability aids have become a regular fixture in the lives of the O'Donohue clan of four.

"People always say to us they don't know how we do it," Mr O'Donohue said.

"But when you have no choice, you just take it day by day."

Described by her parents as the "happiest and most well mannered three-year-old you are ever likely to meet", it is clear the Gladstone community agrees.

Close family friends the Harris' are behind the fundraiser. Jodie Harris and husband Brad have tirelessly worked to organise the packed itinery, including jumping castles, camping, entertainment and of course, the NRL grand final.

"We just want to be able to take some of the stress and pressure away," she said. "Just to be able to raise enough money to keep them locally-based and not have to move to Brisbane would be a great achievement."

The trail ride, to be held at Turkey Beach, will see seniors, juniors, peewees and novices compete in the name of fundraising.

Prizes, raffles, rides, food and beverages will be available on site, with amenities available.

Details: 0419 717 909.

Topics:  community health

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