THIS week I would like to introduce you to The Childhood Cancer Foundation. Many of you have most likely heard of it but for those who haven’t, The Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCF) is a registered charity set up by Gillian Smith.
While climbing Errigal last September I was fortunate to meet one of the women involved with CCF, Maura Toner, who put me in touch with Gillian and we have kept in contact since.
Gillian, who lives in Co. Kildare, set up CCF after her son Dylan was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumour at the age of ten.
She was joined by a number of families who were also affected by childhood cancer and together they built a strong charity.
CCF’s website www.childhoodcancer.ie provides useful information on facilities, support services, grants and entitlements for families affected by childhood cancer.
CCF advocates for improved services for children and families affected by cancer and works closely with St. John’s Ward, Crumlin to help fund vital supports for parents and children who are affected by the disease.
The charity is currently funding play services on St. John’s Day Unit in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and has recently announced the funding of a research project within the hospital investigating the benefits of complementary therapies for children and adolescents with a cancer diagnosis.
There are currently over two hundred children in Ireland under the age of 16 who are in active treatment for cancer. Treatments are harsh and can cause life long side effects. It is estimated there are over 6000 adult survivors of childhood cancer living in Ireland.
The Gaelic Players Association of Ireland this week announced a new partnership with the Childhood Cancer Foundation to help support Ireland’s fight against childhood cancer.
The new association will see CCF become an official charity partner of the GPA with the players’ body helping to support the charities promotional activity including the international Light It Up Gold Campaign.
During the month of September this campaign encourages buildings and famous landmarks throughout Ireland to light up gold as part of an international campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
There are also several events around the country every September, bringing families affected by childhood cancer together to mark the journey they have all been on.
These events have been attended by families whose children are in treatment, those who are long finished treatment and those who have, sadly, lost a child to cancer. So how can Donegal get more involved? Well for starters, if you are a business owner reading this then your premises can become directly involved by Lighting Up Gold.
If you would like to organise a fundraiser or support this event in your own unique way you can contact Gillian by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting their Facebook or Twitter pages www.facebook.com/lightitupgold twitter.com/lightitupgold
Nikki Bradley is the founder of Fighting Fit For Ewing’s, a campaign to promote awareness of Ewing’s Sarcoma. Nikki is sponsored by All Sports in Donegal Town. Support her campaign by giving ‘Fighting Fit For Ewing’s’ a LIKE on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @nikkibradley59