St Paul's footballer Ava Finnegan cuts her locks for MND charity
ANTO Finnegan has heaped praise on his teenage daughter Ava for getting her locks cut for charity and raising £2, 460 for the MND Association in Northern Ireland.
Sixteen-year-old Ava took the brave step to cut her hair and donate to the Little Princess Trust who use it to make wigs for chidren and young people with hair loss.
The deed was completed at Hair Terrific on the Falls Road yesterday - and Ava's mum and dad were proud as punch.
"To have a teenage daughter to give up her hair to raise funds, Alison and I were both taken aback by her gesture and overwhelmed," Anto said.
"We are both extremely proud of Ava. She had been growing her hair for a while but she couldn't get it cut during lockdown. But at the end of lockdown she decided to donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust and helped raise money for the MND Association.
"We know that charities in general have really struggled to raise funds because other fundraising events have been cancelled due to Covid. So, Ava came up with the idea to help the MND Association for NI out and it'll go towards something, especially people locally who are living with the condition."
Anto, who represented St Paul's and Antrim with distinction for most his life, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease eight years ago and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the life-limiting condition through DeterMND Trust he co-founded.
On her Just Giving page, Ava, who plays football for St Paul's GAC, Belfast, said: "In 2012, when I was seven, my daddy was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Since then he has lost the use of his arms and legs. So now, my mum, brother and I do the things for him that he can no longer do. My daddy is my best mate, even though his jokes are terrible. We have lots of fun and enjoy taking silly photos together.
"Since Covid-19 hit the UK the MND Association has had a drastic decline in donations which they rely to provide patient support and carry out research. Every £37 raised enables the Association to operate their MND helpline for one hour. This is a vital service, especially at the moment. Thank you for your donation, it will help to make a huge difference."