This is an email that Katie (Ronan’s mum) wanted shared ahead of The Big Walk. It was written to the Band Association.
It with great pride and an honour for me to send this email to the band association.
Firstly, I will introduce myself.
My name is Katie Cusack and am the very proud mother of Ronan Cusack, if you don’t already know, my son was selected to represent Scotland west at swimming at the Great Britain Special Olympics in August at Sheffield. My son has autism and learning difficulties and showing signs of Tourettes. My son isn’t socially active and finds it hard to mix and fit in with others, but at swimming he has a talent and he is socially accepted, due to his team mates and others within disability sport Scotland having the same conditions, and he can be himself and not have a fear of being ridiculed or humiliated.
I was born and bred in Tinto Crescent, Wishaw and proud of my childhood and grew up with various members of the County Flute Band and also the president Jim Scott was of younger years too, so there has been friendships built over my 43 years on this earth so far. My son has a great relationship with the Scott family and can speak freely, even though the air can be blue at times.
When Ronan got selected for the special Olympics within hours of me getting the letter, Jim Scott jnr went to his dad Jim Scott snr and said could the band help get him there by sponsoring him by paying his £500 fees. It was taken to the whole of the band and it was passed unanimously, so after practice that night, Alan McFarlane was at my door with the first £100 and said the band was holding a charity night in due course for the rest.
Words couldn’t express what that meant to me and still does till a take my last breath. It also showed that even though myself and Ronan was of Catholic faith, this band didn’t care. No matter what race, colour or creed we were there was no boundaries and shows that even though the world we live in is horrible and cruel at times humanity and faith in people is still there and with the County Flute Band it shines like a bright star in the sky.
My heart bursts with pride and the respect me and Ronan have for the band, you couldn’t put a price on it. As the County put out letters to various lodges and bands for donations for the charity night, the response blew me away. We would like to thank Wishaw Murray Apprentice Boys, Andrew Murphy Memorial Flute Band and The First Flute Band Association, which is based in Craigneuk for their very kind donations and God bless you’s for your kindness to help make my son’s dreams come reality.
The messages of support we received and well wishes for my son came from the whole of the country and from bands from Northern Ireland. It’s showed me that no matter what uniform you wear, tune blown out of a flute or the beat of a drum, we are all human and I wish everyone could see what a see through my eyes and feel in my heart.
Amazing how one boy can take down barriers that has been fought over for centuries within the blink of an eye.
The charity night was such a success, that they made enough money to also sponsor my son’s girlfriend Samantha Scott, who is also representing Scotland West for swimming at the Great Britain Special Olympics in August at Sheffield. His old swimming club and Scotland West also received a cheque to and that was a great boost for them, but also a family faced losing their daughter at 25 years old and the band gave a donation to them in their hour of despair.
The bond that has been created with Ronan and the band is like family.
So as I finish my email now, I hope the band association can see how beautiful the souls are of this band and I hope you are as proud of them as I am and to have them representing you on the road.
As the Boyne celebrations are not far away, on behalf of myself and Ronan, we hope all the band’s have a great day and the sun shines on you all.
Article taken from the