Hundreds of families affected by childhood cancer around the country will be helped by a new project being launched by Lions Clubs across Ireland in partnership with the charity Childhood Cancer Ireland.
An average of seven children, adolescents and young adults (aged 0-24) are diagnosed with cancer each week in Ireland.
This September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Childhood Cancer Ireland and Lions Clubs throughout the island of Ireland will ‘Light It Up Gold’ to raise awareness of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer, a disease which has been increasing annually by 1-2% over the last 25 years in Ireland.
Lions International have prioritised childhood cancer as one of their five global causes for many years, in recognition of the significant challenge this disease continues to present to children and families worldwide. Now, the Lions Clubs in Ireland will complement their fifteen existing District projects with a new focus on childhood cancer. The recent annual District Convention of Lions Clubs from all over Ireland, held in Wexford, was addressed by representatives of Childhood Cancer Ireland.
Ann Ellis, a former District Governor of Lions International for the District of Ireland, said:
“This is a very significant project, and we anticipate that many of our Lions Clubs members and their families throughout the island of Ireland will participate in the campaign to spread awareness of childhood cancer and to raise funds for the charity, which will directly benefit families affected by childhood cancer.”
Gerald Cashman, current District Governor and a member of Wexford Lions Club, said:
“We are delighted to engage in this new project on childhood cancer, bringing another of the Lions International Global Causes to Ireland, alongside our current District service projects serving those in need in our communities throughout Ireland and beyond. Cancer is the leading cause of death in children and adolescents around the world. Working with Childhood Cancer Ireland enables us to serve this community by shining a light on what it means to live with childhood cancer and to create awareness of the signs and symptoms to increase early detection.”
Each year in Ireland, an average of 353 children, adolescents and young adults are diagnosed with cancer. Childhood Cancer Ireland is the national parent and survivor-led charity representing the voice of children and young people with cancer, survivors and their families. The seeds for the charity were planted 10 years ago in 2013, when a group of parents struggling to find adequate supports and services got together for the first Light It Up Gold Walk in Dublin. Childhood Cancer Ireland continues to be driven by parents and survivors and to advocate for better supports and services for families and better outcomes for children.
This September, the Lions Clubs in Ireland will hold several Light It Up Gold walks and events around the country, bringing communities together in solidarity with families affected by childhood cancer and helping to raise funds to enable the childhood cancer charity to continue to provide supports to families nationwide.
Laura Cullinan, CEO of Childhood Cancer Ireland:
“To hear those words ‘your child has cancer’ is every parent’s worst nightmare. But for hundreds of families in Ireland, it is their reality and they are left feeling scared, isolated and alone. One of the greatest tools we have is the ability to reach out and to break through the isolation, to walk in solidarity with our families to show that their community is behind them. It is fitting that, 10 years after the first Light It Up Gold Walk, we will work in partnership with the Lions Clubs of Ireland to ensure that more families feel supported and less alone.”
For more information on Childhood Cancer Ireland visit www.childhoodcancer.ie.
For more information on Lions Clubs in Ireland visit LionsClubs.ie
For further information contact:
Michael Fisher, PRO Lions Clubs of Ireland . [email protected] 085 8556800.
Fionnuala Murphy, Childhood Cancer Ireland. [email protected] 087 4116925
- Lions International is the world’s largest service organisation, with over 1.4 million members worldwide and a vision to be the global leader in humanitarian and community service.
- Lions International is represented by 93 Lions Clubs and 2,000 members throughout the island of Ireland.
- Lions Clubs in Ireland run 16 District service projects in the areas of diabetes, hunger/homelessness, vision and the environment as well as many initiatives supporting older persons, youth groups, carers and those in need in communities throughout Ireland and beyond.
- Childhood Cancer Ireland raises funds to provide a number of practical and emotional supports to children and families, including:
- Beads of Courage and Sibling Beads Programme at the National Children’s Cancer Service in Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin.
- Refurbishment of paediatric oncology isolation rooms in Shared Care facilities (regional hospitals).
- A new series of workshops for parents in 2023, which will enable parents to process what they have been through since their child was diagnosed and to begin to heal.
- Parent peer support, which is a vital support to parents both during and after treatment.