Sense of community pervades as siblings support group launched


A sense of unity so much prevalent during such unprecedented times is to the fore in the tight knit community of Dysart where a support group has been established to support the health and wellbeing of two young brothers who have been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Noah (6 ) and Rowan (4 ) Gately, were diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder in January of this year. The siblings are the children of Athlone native, Bianca Benson and Sean Gately, who originally hails from Dysart.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser this week, Bianca, who appeared on Ireland Am last week to detail Noah and Rowan’s story, told of her shock when the diagnosis was relayed to both parents in January.

“To receive a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis for both our sons was surreal and is still extremely difficult to comprehend.

“Initially, it was noticed during a developmental check on Noah that he may require physiotherapy to build his muscle tone and slowly he progressed.

“We had a further visit to Roscommon Primary Care Centre in autumn of last year from where both Noah and Rowan were then referred to the Paediatric Clinic in Portiuncula Hospital for further assessment.

“Upon the conclusion of hip x-rays and blood tests, particular medical readings were of cause for concern and both Noah and Rowan were transferred to Temple Street Hospital for neuromuscular assessment. It was there where Sean and I were informed of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis,” Bianca stated.

Bravely narrating Noah and Rowan’s journey to date, Bianca speaks proudly and with immense love and affection for Noah and Rowan. Sean has been a source of great strength since the diagnosis, Bianca noting that “they both keep each other afloat” during such surreal moments.

The establishment of the Noah and Rowan Benson Gately Support Group has been a source of great solace and at the time of going to press a sum in excess of €30,000 had been raised for the brothers on the support group gofundme page with the ultimate goal of raising €100,000 towards the health and wellbeing of the siblings.

Outlining the story of both Noah and Rowan, the Support Group gofundme page notes that the thoughts of Bianca and Sean as they note that the diagnosis received in January is “not the life we had hoped or planned for our children.”

“Both boys were born perfectly healthy and perfectly gorgeous. We are delighted to be raising two sons, two brothers, two best friends, who have brought such joy and happiness to our lives.

“The road ahead will be tough but, with the love and support of our families, friends and community, we hope to make the journey a little easier for Noah and Rowan.

“We have been truly touched by the enormous outpouring of compassion shown to us and wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every person for being there to support us on this journey.”


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