BALLYMENA Mart is the place to be on 2 January 2021, where the annual sale of in-lamb Texel ewes, the January Gems, takes place.
This year sees a special entry from the Drewmar Texels flock run by Graham and Joanne McFarland in Trillick, to raise money for a very worthwhile charity.
Two home bred in-lamb gimmers by Tamnamoney Big Horn will be presented for sale with all proceeds being donated to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Both ewes have been scanned in lamb to the well-known Knock Yardsman. The winning bidder will have their pick of the two ewes, with the other being retained.
In 2017 the McFarland’s son, Andrew, was diagnosed with a rare, neurodegenerative disease, a variant form of Late Infantile Batten Disease.
Over the period of a few months Andrew lost the ability to sit unaided, talk, walk or eat, and ended up in PICU with uncontrollable seizures and pneumonia. With many people praying for him and the excellent care of the medical staff, Andrew’s condition stabilised, but there was no possibility of the family going home for Christmas. Then the Children’s Hospice stepped in. After almost two months of hospitalisation, the McFarlands were able to spend Christmas together as a family of four, in the care and supervision of doctors, nurses, care assistants and many others, who spent part of their Christmas working, so the family wouldn’t spend theirs separated – two in a hospital ward, and two 70 miles away.
For those who wish to donate but perhaps don’t want to bid on the ewes a JustGiving page has been set up www.justgiving.com/januarygems2021
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