Biographies

Mary Claire Rennick, Director

Mary Claire is a lawyer and mother of three children living in Co. Meath. Mary-Claire became involved in Childhood Cancer Foundation after her 10 year old daughter Alice was diagnosed with Acute Promylocytic Leukaemia in 2013. Alice completed treatment in 2015.

Prior to her own child’s diagnosis, Mary-Claire was unaware of the number of children diagnosed annually with cancer and the harsh realities that this diagnosis brings. She also learnt that childhood cancer supports and services were desperately in need of increased funding and a strong representative voice to advocate for positive change. 

Mary Claire believes that Childhood Cancer Foundation through its awareness campaigns such as Light It Up Gold, advocacy work, co-operation with other organisations and funded projects can bring about that change and help to ensure a brighter future for children with cancer and their families.

Laura Cullinan, Director

Laura, a Financial Consultant, lives in Co. Roscommon, with her husband and three children. In 2014 her middle child Isobel (then 21 months) was treated for a Wilms Tumour in Our Lady’s Children's Hospital, Crumlin.  Isobel had chemotherapy and surgery to remove her left kidney. 12 months post treatment, a routine chest x-ray found a new lesion on her lung and she commenced a seven month treatment protocol followed by surgery to remove part of her lung. Isobel is now thankfully cancer free. 

Laura became involved with Childhood Cancer Foundation in 2014 and feels passionate about the work of the charity. She believes Isobel was very fortunate to have had the benefit of early diagnosis and that it is vital that every child receives the same chance to fight this dreadful disease. Increased public awareness of childhood cancer will ultimately lead to more funding and research, early diagnosis, improved survival rates and less side effects from harsh treatment protocols. 

Since 2014 Laura and her amazing committee have been running Izzy B’s Away With The Fairies Day at Strokestown Park House in Roscommon. This magical fun filled family day raises awareness of childhood cancer and funds for projects on St John’s Paediatric cancer ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin.

Claire Lanigan, Director

Claire is Head of Division in the Central Bank of Ireland with responsibility for the Asset Management Supervision Division. Prior to this role Claire was Deputy Head of Division for Banking Supervision Division with responsibility for the supervision of the five significant domestic banks operating in Ireland. Claire has more than twenty-five years' experience working in the financial services sector. Her previous experience includes working for Allied Irish Bank Corporate Banking in North America, and as Head of Credit for Cantor Fitzgerald, Dublin. 

Claire was awarded an MBA from Smurfit Business School (UCD) in 2004 and a Bachelor of Business Studies from Dublin City University (DCU) in 1994.

Claire has two young children and was impressed by the work and mission of Childhood Cancer Foundation, in particular what the Foundation has been able to achieve in a short period. Claire is keen to contribute her skill set in the further advancement of the Foundation’s mission.

Alan Pearson, Director

Alan is from Dublin and is married with three children. He was thrown into the world of childhood cancer when his middle child was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma three weeks after her 4th birthday.  As part of a European-wide clinical trial her treatment involved major surgery, high dose chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. 

Alan, a biotechnologist and engineer, works as a Senior Engineering Manager in Biopharmaceuticals. Throughout his daughter’s journey Alan became aware of the challenges with access to innovative therapies for children in Ireland, particularly in the case of relapse and resistant disease. He witnessed first-hand the dramatic and lifelong impacts that current treatments have on children fighting cancer.

On completion of his daughter’s treatment, Alan joined Childhood Cancer Foundation before becoming a Director in June 2019. He will continue to advocate on behalf of children in Ireland for improved access to innovative and less toxic therapies and contribute to the development of strategies for improved care and outcomes.

Fionnuala Murphy, Director

Fionnuala began her career as a journalist, working for a large regional newspaper group in the midlands. From there, having completed an MA in Public Relations, she moved to the aid agency GOAL. Here, she focused on communicating often complex messages about international humanitarian crises and demonstrating GOAL’s impact in the countries in which it worked through media relations.

Fionnuala joined NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) in 2006 and gained invaluable operations experience in the early years of her time there, working on internal communications and on corporate, advocacy and fundraising campaigns. She became the Head of the communications team and spent 18 months also heading up the fundraising team. In this dual role her focus was on the strategic development of NCBI and in increasing its communications and fundraising capacity to achieve those aims.

Fionnuala left NCBI in October 2018 to spent time with her young family. She lives in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, and is an active member of Maynooth Community First Responders.

Jane McAdoo, Member

Jane McAdoo is a financial consultant living in Meath with her husband and 3 children. Her youngest son James was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2013 aged 5. Jane is thankful to Tallaght Hospital who diagnosed what initially seemed to be an orthopaedic issue and to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin for the excellent medical care James has received. She realises that her son was very lucky to have been diagnosed and started on treatment at such an early stage. He will continue to be monitored until he is 16.

Jane firmly believes that all family members are deeply affected by a childhood cancer diagnosis and that the psychological impact on the wider family and community is very significant. Jane began volunteering with Childhood Cancer Foundation in 2015 and dedicates her time and energy to help initiate support programmes for children in treatment and their families.

Gillian Smith, Member

Gillian Smith lives in Kildare. Her only son Dylan was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma brain tumour aged 10 while visiting family in the USA. Dylan had several brain surgeries and proton radiation treatment in the USA and then came home to Ireland for chemotherapy. This treatment was very severe and Dylan is still dealing with many side effects. However he is getting stronger all the time and his intelligence and charisma light up everyone he meets.

Gillian was keenly aware of the differences in facilities and services for children in Ireland and abroad from her experience with Dylan. She also wanted to increase awareness around childhood cancer. This prompted her to join the Light It Up Gold campaign in 2013 and to form Childhood Cancer Foundation, to support families affected by childhood cancer.

Gillian says, “I was surrounded by family and friends who supported us and this definitely had a positive impact on Dylan’s frame of mind while recovering from treatment. I would like to ensure that others receive the same understanding in their communities when dealing with childhood

Caroline Krieger, Part-time Charity Coordinator

Caroline joined Childhood Cancer Foundation as Charity Coordinator in November 2018. She brings with her a wealth of experience from both the Charity and Pharmacy sectors and holds an Honours Degree in Journalism and French from the Dublin Institute of Technology. 

Caroline previously worked as the Medical Information Officer of Meningitis Research Foundation for five years before moving to the Irish Cancer Society’s Communications Team. Prior to that she was a Pharmacy Manager. 

An experienced PR and Communications professional, Caroline has coordinated many successful disease and public awareness campaigns. She was impressed by the work of Childhood Cancer Foundation and is committed to raising awareness of childhood cancer and supporting families affected. 

 

Text GOLD to 50300 to donate €4 to Childhood Cancer Foundation 

Text costs €4. Childhood Cancer Foundation will receive a minimum of €3.25. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278.