Childhood Cancer Foundation is marking its first anniversary on International Childhood Cancer Day 15 February 2015. They are encouraging people to wear gold ribbons to help raise awareness of childhood cancer. The gold ribbon is the international symbol of childhood cancer. Advocate groups across the world work together on this day to improve the situation for children and families affected by childhood cancer.
Mary Claire Rennick states: “We are joining with group in Ireland such as Barretstown and across the world to raise awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer. These include the importance of early diagnosis, the difficulties, physical and emotional, that children face throughout treatment and the long term side effects of the harsh treatment regiments. We hope that by raising awareness we can improve conditions for children and families affected by cancer. ”
Childhood Cancer Foundation volunteers sold hundreds of gold ribbon pins at awareness stands in shopping centres around the country on Sunday 15 February.
Mary Claire continues: “While Ireland has excellent staff to care for our children the strain on resources in the health service in the last 5 years has also had an impact on children affected by cancer. We have been generously supported by the Irish public over the last year and we have recently committed to funding a play specialist in the day ward in Crumlin. This will ensure that children waiting for treatment, receiving chemotherapy or blood transfusions and in for day procedures will have the opportunity for play services to make their time in hospital less scary. We are delighted to provide this funding, as parents of children affected by cancer and treated on St John’s ward we are all aware of the need for such services. We will continue to work with the hospital to provide other services that will benefit children’s emotional wellbeing.”
"Our goal is not just fundraising but also awareness. The website www.childhoodcancer.ie has served as a tool for promoting awareness of childhood cancer. Increased awareness will increase funding for services and research which will improve conditions for all those affected by this disease. The website is also a useful information hub, providing information about services and entitlements specific to those affected by childhood cancer.”