Donegal’s ongoing support for the Childhood Cancer Foundation will be visible across the county throught the month of September as many of the county’s most notable buildings and landmarks are once again Lighting Up Gold as part of the 5th annual Light It Up Gold campaign.
The Donegal campaign is part of a national endeavour but also a wider international campaign, originating in the USA, that has seen buildings across the world ‘Light It Up Gold’ in September to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer.
Maura Toner of Childhood Cancer Foundation said the charity is grateful to the owners and managers of so many buildings across Ireland who have generously joined the Light It Up Gold campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer, assisting to highlight the issues that a diagnosis brings.
“Raising awareness will improve early detection rates resulting in less harsh treatment protocols and fewer long term side effects. It will also encourage increased funding for desperately needed services and supports for children with cancer, their siblings, parents and families.
Raising awareness also promotes the demand for increased funding for the development of drugs specifically for children’s cancers and research into improved treatments and ultimately cures for all childhood cancers.”
According to Maura over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland.
“That’s 4 families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister or grandchild has cancer. Childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease in children in this country.”
Maura explained that Childhood Cancer Foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes amongst health care professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer and assisting to fund supports for children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Maura, who lives in Inch Island, explained that in County Donegal, the Public Service Centres in Donegal Town, Dungloe and Milford are glowing gold. In Buncrana, the Council Offices, the Roundabout and the Castle Bridge are all already lit up gold. In Letterkenny, the Polestar monument and An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny have also lit up gold as has the Castle Folly at Oakfield Park in Raphoe.
“We are delighted that the council still took time to do this when we know they have been dealing with the devastation left by the recent floods and as always we are indebted to Liam O’Hara of O’Hara and Harrison Electrical Contractors who has ensured the Polestar in Letterkenny is shining gold for our children.”
Maura insisted that awareness is crucial to ensure the whole community recognises the immediate devastating effect of childhood cancer on children and families and also the long-term effects of cancer and harsh treatments.
“Raising awareness of childhood cancer shines a light on the bravery of children with cancer, their families and those living with long term side effects from chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Everyone can show their support for these children and their families by wearing a gold ribbon pin or encouraging a building to light up in gold light during September.”