Home Irish Showbiz Colin Farrell asks Irish public to support brave friend with rare disease

Colin Farrell asks Irish public to support brave friend with rare disease

The actor's friend Emma Fogarty is raising money for a very important cause


Colin Farrell has asked the public to support the “bravest human he has ever met” as she aims to raise funds for people, like her, who live with skin disease EB.

Emma Fogarty will celebrate her 36th birthday by completing an incredibly painful 36 km assisted walk over the course of this month, to raise funds for Debra Ireland.

Emma was born with EB (epidermolysis bullosa), also known as butterfly skin, which causes the skin layers and internal body linings to blister and wound at the slightest touch.

In a video of support for Emma’s 36 Challenge, which was recorded in Los Angeles, Colin described Emma as a dear friend, and the bravest human being he has ever met.


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“I’m really nervous for her but I didn’t even try and stop her because she’s like a bull in a china shop when it comes to her determination and will,” he said.

“She wants to show people that even though she lives with the severity of the pain of this condition, it does not hinder her ability to express herself and live the life that she wants to live.”

At present, 80% of Emma’s body is covered in open wounds and is bandaged every second day.

“The pain I endure, all the time, whether I’m sitting in a chair or lying in bed, is considerable, and I am on a huge amount of medication,” Emma said, speaking from her home in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.

“But I’m not going to let that beat me. My birthday is on June 25, and to mark it, I’m embarking on this challenge to prove a point.”

“For people with EB, 36 is old and to get to this age is a privilege that is denied to many. I had a hard year. I had life-changing surgery and I will never take a step again.”

As well as donating, Emma is asking the public to do the 36 km with her.

“Either walk with me, do two kilometres with your kids or do whatever you can do and to donate, search for Emma’s 36 Challenge on justgiving.com.”

Following a health setback last year, Emma now uses a wheelchair.


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“I can’t walk, so the amazing Georgina Herlihy, my assistant, is going to push me all the way. My test isn’t the endurance test, it is to see if I can endure the ramps, the bumps, the potholes – even a pebble on the road.”

“I can guarantee you that I will have many more wounds at the end of this challenge than I did at the beginning.”

Debra Ireland provides patient support services and drives research into treatments and cures for those with the condition.

“Debra Ireland is an amazing charity. I am so lucky to have them, because without them we wouldn’t be able to get nurses or research funding resources, and they deserve all the help they can get,” she said.

To donate, click here.