Carol the Play Specialist
Childhood Cancer Foundation fully funds the play specialist position on St John's day ward. Carol is a wonderful, kind, caring lady who has worked as a play specialist in Children's Health Ireland at Crumlin for many years.
Carol works with the children to ease the burden of attending St John’s Day Ward for chemotherapy and other invasive treatments, offering stimulation and support when it is needed most.
We extended our funding of Play services in 2017 and Carol is now working full time on St John’s Day Unit.
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 gifted a substantial donation to Childhood Cancer Foundation which will go towards our play services. Merryn’s family remember their beloved daughter below:
"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. "
We are extremely grateful to the Lacy family for this wonderful gift. Having a full-time play specialist on the ward helps children 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 also fully funded by Childhood Cancer Foundation. 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 here
Childhood Cancer Foundation also organises Super Hero days for the ward where we bring special visitors such as Star Wars characters, Batman, Wonder Woman and Tinkerbell 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 have sponsored 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.