Emma Jervis-Press 22

Eric Butler with MC Miriam O’Callaghan and Shay Kinsella, ‘Share a Dream’ founder, at the charity’s glittering annual ball and National Children of Courage Awards at the Radisson Hotel, Limerick, last Saturday, where it was announced that Eric along with seven other children and their families will fly to Disneyland for a special trip this Christmas. | Photo: Emma Jervis-Press 22

Those obsessed with the credit crunch might well heed the old saying that your health is your wealth.

Now aged seven, Eric Butler from Ballygunner in Waterford was born at just 30 weeks and was immediately rushed to Dublin where he spent months undergoing operation after operation before finally being allowed home. He was born with a rare genetic illness that affects his stomach, spine and heart. He has spent long periods in hospital in Waterford and Crumlin having major surgeries on almost all of his internal organs.

His bravery in adversity is a source of enormous pride to his mum Marina and dad Derek, his grandparents, extended family and friends. According to family friend Alice, “Eric always leaves an impacting memory on everyone and his courage and stamina gives us hope and a new meaning to life.”

Last Saturday the annual National Children of Courage Awards and ‘Share a Dream’ ball took place in the Radisson Hotel, Limerick. Eric was among eight children honoured for their extraordinary courage in the face of ill health.

Founded by Shay Kinsella, the Share a Dream Foundation is a totally self-funded national children’s charity, which receives no support from the government or other state agency but relies solely on the generosity of the public. So, if you are making a donation this Christmas, think of Share a Dream – www.shareadream.ie