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Fight For Johnny's Girls

Sherie, Darcy, Riley

My wife and my two baby daughters are everything to me.

But now our world has crumbled. A diagnosis of ALS - an aggressive Motor Neurone Disease - is causing my body to shut down around me and it's all happened in just nine months.

My name is Johnny - I'm asking for your help to buy a home for Sherie and our two girls where they can grow into the amazing people I won't see, but I know they will be. If they have a home and a secure future, I can rest in peace, and I thank you for this.

We all have such busy lives. But take five minutes to read this, and consider helping us through this horrific challenge as a family.


To compose this, I’ve worked with friends and family for the right words. For the last month, I have had to use an Eyegaze computer to communicate - technology I am grateful for but could never have imagined I would need.


It was only August last year that I had a good and ‘normal’ life: a secure job, a cheeky, cute 2-year-old daughter, Darcy, and my beautiful wife Sherie and I had just fallen pregnant with Riley.

December 2021: 2 months post-diagnosis


Sherie and I spent half a lifetime looking for each other, and after getting married and enjoying our first daughter Darcy so much, we were so excited for baby number 2 to come into our lives as we turned 40.


Sherie was six months pregnant in September 2021 when everything changed frighteningly quickly.


A colleague at work asked me if I was ok. She said that I was “talking slowly”. A friend from Ireland told me the same thing on the phone one day. We began to notice other symptoms.


Appointment after appointment of “ruling out” the causes of these symptoms led us to an awful and terrible truth- everything pointed to ALS, a terminal disease. We held onto every hope it was something else.


ALS is a cruel Motor Neurone Disease and there is no cure. Unfortunately, mine is far more aggressive than doctors thought. 


In less than a year, my condition has deteriorated to the point that I cannot talk or walk. I am fed via a PEG tube into my abdomen.

April 2022: 7 months post diagnosis


I’m still me: a dad, husband, brother, friend. But I can't hold my girls.


Sherie is now a full-time carer to all three of us - myself, Darcy (2) and Riley (6 months old).

I have imagined such a bright future for them, but I didn't know I wouldn't be in it. 

So I'm asking for your help to buy my girls a home so I know they'll have a roof over their heads when I'm gone.

They've been through enough. I don't want to leave them without a secure future. That's why we're starting this campaign.


             With Darcy: July 2020 - our future was bright                                                                        With Riley: June 2022 - 9 months post diagnosis

Please share this with your friends, family and colleagues, and follow   FightforJohnnysgirls on Instagram   and on Facebook  for updates and a place to offer your words of support as we go through this.

I have been fortunate in my life. I have travelled. I am an Irishman through-and-through who moved to Australia, met the love of my life and became a citizen there too.

But I was just getting started. My girls are so young. Now we are living a tragedy we couldn’t have imagined.

Due to ongoing medical costs our savings have been depleted.

I am so grateful for all the friends I’ve made along the way who have supported us.


I also know it can be hard to know how to help.


I don't have long.

Please give what you can to our campaign.


Thank you for your support,




Fundraiser to help the family of Portarlington man Johnny McCowen, living in Australia, who has an aggressive form of Motor Neuron Disease - ALS. This cause has being setup by a group of farming friends that are raising money through a raffle.

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contact details


Lea, Portarlington, County Laois, IRELAND

cause registration

Revenue (Charities Unit) (CHY): Cause

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