LOCALS from Dunamanagh and beyond certainly ‘dig’ the Woods family’s festive digger, which has been decked out with Christmas lights and all things festive.
As an incentive to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Unit at Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, the excavator on the Moylagh crossroad’s junction has proved a hit with passing motorists and locals alike.
Mother and father Paddy and Donna Woods have been blown away by the response to the digger, which they decided to decorate after their little boy Zak was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia over a year ago.
“We were thinking of ways we could give back to the Children’s Hospital who have helped Zak,” Donna said. “As farmers and contractors, we decided to tie this in with a Christmas display and illuminate one of the diggers. The response has been truly overwhelming.”
Donations have been received via a JustGiving page, with several individuals ‘digging deep’ to support the cause.
“Despite originally aiming to raise £500, thus far we have received over £900, with this amount rising. We hope to have the digger on display throughout the festive period.”
Although the family have been through a rollercoaster year Donna says they are determined to fight for their “inspirational” little boy.
“We take each day as it comes and try to make life as normal as we can for Zak, especially during the run up to Christmas. He is so happy and inspirational and we are so proud of him.”
Now three-years-old, Zak will continue treatment for another two years.
“The treatment is very intense, consisting of chemo every day, another drug every Saturday, an antibiotic every Monday and Tuesday and five days of steroids per month.” Donna explained.
“Each month starts with a second chemo drug (this can only be given by the hospital). Finally, a lumbar puncture is given four times a year.
“The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity’s mission is to support the work of the existing unit and staff at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in providing care for children with cancer and blood disorders. This includes funding equipment and resources such as staff training and research. I would love to see passers by donate to this worthwhile charity.”