Board of Directors

Childhood Cancer Ireland is run by a Board of Directors, who lead the charity on a voluntary basis.

Alex Petrilli

Director & Chairperson
Photo of Alex Petrilli

With a career spanning over two decades, Alex brings a wealth of experience in managing and growing teams across multinational, multilingual, and startup environments. His professional journey has seen him at the helm of significant partnerships and leading global teams at renowned organisations such as LinkedIn, Quantcast, Facebook, IBM, Sony-Ericsson, and Vodafone.


As the Chairman of Childhood Cancer Ireland, Alex is committed to leveraging his extensive experience and network to further the mission of the charity. He is deeply passionate about ensuring that children diagnosed with cancer in Ireland receive the best care and support, and he believes in a holistic approach that not only focuses on treatment but also on the overall well-being of the child and their family.


Alex’s leadership style is characterised by his ability to foster collaboration, drive innovation, and build strong relationships. He is excited to contribute to Childhood Cancer Ireland’s vision and work towards a brighter future for children with cancer and their families.

Mary Claire Rennick

Director / Parent
Mary Claire Rennick

Mary Claire is a lawyer and mother of three children living in Co. Meath. Mary-Claire became involved in Childhood Cancer Ireland 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 Ireland, 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.

Patricia McColgan

Director / Parent
Photo of Patricia McColgan

Patricia and her husband Jimmy McGrath have two sons, James and Rory, plus grandson Tadhg. Rory was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008 and had his treatment in Beaumont, St. Lukes and Crumlin hospitals. After the completion of his treatment, it became clear that there were no follow up supports in place to help survivors enjoy the best possible quality of life and to address the late effects of treatment. With Garry Owens, another parent, Patricia co-founded CanCare4Living to advocate for survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer. She is passionate about the power of collaboration and keeping the voice of those with lived experience central to any discussion about them. 

CanCare4Living merged with Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland in August 2022 and Patricia continues that work now under the charity’s new name of Childhood Cancer Ireland. 

Patricia has recently retired as co-owner and director of the Abbey Group – a Deloitte Best Managed company 10 years running. The Abbey Group is Ireland’s largest privately owned incoming tour operation and professional conference organiser.

Linda McEntee

Director / Parent

Linda is an accountant and lecturer, married to Mark and is a mother of three children. Her daughter, Sadie, received a cancer diagnosis in January 2019 and completed treatment in September 202O. Prior to her daughter’s diagnosis, Linda had no experience of cancer, let alone childhood cancer and the devastating impact and trail of destruction it causes, not only to the family unit itself but also to members of the extended family, friends and community.

Dr Sarah Curry

Director / Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin
Alan Pearson

Currently a dedicated consultant paediatric oncologist, with subspecialty expertise in neuro-oncology, practicing at The National Children’s Cancer Service (NCCS); Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. Sarah prides herself in delivering comprehensive family-based care for patients with a wide range of cancers, in both the acute and ambulatory setting, in addition to providing specialist advice for paediatric teams throughout the Republic of Ireland.

Sarah’s Irish training, in addition to two specialty fellowships at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and UK consultant experience prepared her optimally for this role.

Sarah is a patient focused oncologist adept at managing children and young adults with all types of cancer in the diagnostic, treatment, surveillance, follow up, survivorship and sometimes, palliative phase of care. Although she is passionate about treating all of her patients, treating children with brain and spinal tumours holds a particular motivation. The often-permanent devastating effects of brain tumours and their directed therapies for children mandate meticulous, evidence based, risk stratified treatment selection. Each patient’s management requires fastidious planning; considering core treatment principles, clinical situation, ethical considerations, and family values.

Sarah believes that it is her privilege to be in a position to try to help families navigate through the exceptionally difficult circumstances from receiving a cancer diagnosis onwards. She takes particular satisfaction in getting to know her patients and their families; it is these relationships that make the good days shine and the bad durable. 

Conchúir MacGloinn

Director / Strategic Partnerships Manager at Roche
Alan Pearson

Conchúir has over 15 years experience working within the Irish healthcare industry across a range of different disciplines such as clinical trials, medical affairs, innovation and strategic partnerships. He has advanced knowledge of oncology, immunology, respiratory medicine, cardiology and metabolic disorders.

Conchúir holds a BAmod in Natural Sciences and a MSc in research chemistry specialising in nanoparticle delivery systems from Trinity College Dublin. He recently completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation and is a member of the HIHI Healthcare Innovation Champions Group.

Conchúir holds a non-Executive Director board position in the Irish Platform for Patient Organisations, Sciences and Industries. He is also a member of the Governance Committee for the SFI Centre for Research Training in Genomic Data Sciences.

Conchúir is passionate about developing advocacy for the patient voice and in ensuring that the patient’s needs are always the primary concern. To date he has successfully co-led a range of advocacy campaigns such as Out the Other Side: Stories of Breast Cancer Survival, Patients Deserve Better and Get Rare Aware.

Scheryll Alken

Consultant in Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer at Children’s Health Ireland/St James’s Hospital
Alan Pearson

Dr Scheryll Alken, MB BCh BAO MRCPI, is Ireland’s first Consultant in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer based at Children’s Health Ireland, Crumlin and St James’s Hospital. She received her medical degree from The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2008, Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in 2010 and her Certificate of Specialist Training in Medical Oncology from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland in 2018.

During her training, she undertook a two-year fellowship in Neuro-Oncology and Drug Development at the Royal Marsden Hospital/Institute of Cancer Research. In 2018, she was awarded an inaugural Aspire Clinical Fellowship in Adolescent and Young Adult Medical Oncology.

She is a member of the National Cancer Control Programme’s Children, Adolescent & Young Adult Clinical Leads Group, developing Ireland’s National AYA Cancer Network. Her research interests include the disparities in care experienced by AYAs with cancer, transition in AYA cancer, and the role of exercise in this patient population, along with increasing clinical trial access for young people. She is a founding member of AYA Cancer Ireland, a special interest group for healthcare professionals in Ireland, and is proud to partner with young people with cancer to drive cancer research in Ireland.

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