Carol the Play Specialist
Childhood Cancer Foundation funds the play specialist on the day ward on St John's Ward. Carol currently fills this position. She is a wonderful, kind caring lady who has worked as a play specialist in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin for many years. Children receiving chemotherapy, blood transfusions and other medical procedures spend many hours waiting in bed.
Childhood Cancer Foundation is delighted to announce that we have extended our funding of Play services since 6th of June 2017. Carol is now Carol working full time on St John’s Day Unit. Children receiving chemo and other treatments in the afternoon will now have play services.
Funding the full time position was made possible by the wonderful support of the public and by the generosity of The Merryn Lacy Trust. Merryn's family recently gifted a substantial donation to CCF which will go towards play services. Carol works with the children to ease the burden of attending St John’s Day Ward for chemo and other invasive treatments, offering stimulation and support when needed most. Merryn’s family remember their beloved daughter with the following words -
"Being independent was important to Merryn but that wasn't always easy when stuck on the Day Ward for hours having treatment. On John's, Merryn loved being in the playroom, with us sometimes but often just with Áine (Play Specialist). She loved her arts and crafts and I think that's how a lot of people remember her... in the playroom creating and having a break from being a very sick child with cancer. "
CCF is extremely grateful to the Lacy family for this wonderful gift. Having a play specialist on the ward helps them to fill the time, keeps them entertained and can reduce the stress associated with being in hospital.
Carol is also fully trained on the Beads of Courage programme which is funded by Childhood Cancer Foundation also. Carol sees the benefits of the Beads of Courage programme every day and states
“The Beads of Courage are a great asset to the patients and their families on St John’s Ward Day Unit. To physically see the beads, as a representation of all the procedures and treatments which a person undergoes through their treatment, is a very powerful thing”
You can read more about the Beads of Courage at this link.
Childhood Cancer Foundation also organises Super Hero days for the ward where we bring special visitors such as Star Wars characters, Batman, Catwoman and other superheroes and even Fairies into the ward. We are very grateful to Emerald Garrison and the others who have joined us in costume to bring smiles to the #trueheroes on St John's Ward. Thanks also to Big Bang Comics, Dundrum and The Irish Fairy Door Company who sponsor gifts for the kids on these visits. These visits were inspired by Dylan who was a patient on St John's Ward in 2012 and 2013. He remembers the joy when special visitors would come to the ward and he wanted to do something positive after his treatment finished.