Little Samantha Cassidy (aged 10) from Massachusetts, USA suffers from a very serious illness so The Make a Wish Foundation offered to grant her greatest wish. It turned out that Samantha really wanted to visit her adopted donkey Timmy who lives here at The Donkey Sanctuary with the other adoption donkeys. Plans were quickly put in place by The Make a Wish Foundation and with the help of staff here at the Sanctuary her dream came to pass last Tuesday 13th July 2010 when she visited a bemused Timmy here at Knockardbane.
Helen Barrett, Head Veterinary Nurse who hand reared Timmy, told Samantha the story of his birth and subsequent rejection by his mother. She was amazed at the affection that still existed between Helen and Timmy. Samantha then travelled with her family to Hannigan’s Farm where she was given a guided tour by Paddy Barrett, PR Manager, and then to her surprise Eugene Butler Donkey Fanatic met Samantha with Moses, one of our celebrity donkeys who appeared in the film “The Wind That Shakes The Barley” and took her on a donkey cart ride around the farm.
Samantha was so excited with this and later travelled with Eugene in the lorry when he was returning Moses back to his home with the Oldie Group here near the Visitor Centre. After lunch Samantha helped Eileen Barrett to groom and care for some donkeys in The Walton Group. When it was time for Samantha to return to her hotel, Paddy presented her with a certificate of her visit to The Donkey Sanctuary and a bag full of donkey goodies. Noel Carton, Head of Operations, also presented Samantha with a framed photograph of her taken with Timmy on the day.
Samantha really enjoyed her day and as her father, Michael Cassidy, said with tears in his eyes "There are days for ups and days for downs, this was a day for ups".
The family returned on Thursday 15th July for Samantha to say goodbye to her donkey Timmy and the many donkey and human friends she made during her visit.
We would like to wish Samantha well in the future and hope she makes a full recovery from her illness.