News & Events

Knowing the signs of childhood cancer could save a life

A national children’s cancer charity is asking families and the medical community to be aware of the early signs of childhood cancer, as Childhood Cancer Awareness month comes to a close. Knowing the signs can save lives.

Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland notes that each year, around 200 children (aged 0-16 years) are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland. A diagnosis of childhood cancer has a devastating impact on the entire family, stopping life in its tracks. Early diagnosis has a significant impact on the treatment options and prognosis for children.

According to Laura Cullinan, voluntary Director of Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland, and parent of a childhood cancer survivor, parents should always trust their gut instinct when it comes to their children’s health.

“My daughter Isobel was 21 months old when I was concerned about weight loss and a swollen abdomen. I knew in my heart something wasn’t right. I am so grateful to our GP and paediatrician, whose quick actions resulted in an early diagnosis of a kidney tumour (Wilms) at stage 1. This tumour generally responds well to treatment. Unfortunately, Isobel relapsed with a tumour in her lung but we were lucky to have more treatment options available because of the initial early diagnosis and response. Isobel is now 8 years old, cancer free and doing well.”

Dr Michael Capra, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at CHI at Crumlin, reiterates that awareness of the signs is key.

“Approximately one child per week will be diagnosed with leukaemia in Ireland, with the same number again diagnosed with a brain tumour. Nobody wants to think about childhood cancer but it’s vital that parents and GPs know the signs because treatment can be very effective, particularly with early intervention.”

“The signs and symptoms can look very innocuous on their own so we are looking for persistent or recurring signs. Please remember, if your child has some of these symptoms, it does not mean that they have cancer. But it’s important that they are seen by a doctor, who can rule out a more serious problem. More than likely, it will be something minor, but we want to catch those rare cases where it’s something serious as early as possible.”

Laura Cullinan “Every year for Childhood Cancer Awareness month we stand in solidarity with the families fighting childhood cancer and the survivors. We remember the children who have died too soon from cancer and we #LightItUpGold for them and their families, by lighting landmark buildings gold and wearing gold ribbons. This year, we hope that by highlighting the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer we improve the outlook for families receiving this terrifying diagnosis.”

Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland are also asking people to light a candle at 8pm on Wednesday 30th September and take a moment to remember children and families affected by childhood cancer.

Photo Credit: Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust

Have Your Say!

We are asking for contributions from parents and anybody concerned with childhood cancer to give Childhood and Adolescent Cancer a strong focus in the Consultation on the EU Beating Cancer Plan.

As members of CCI-Europe (Childhood Cancer International Europe) Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland, CanCare4living and CanTeen Ireland together with medical professionals, other organisations and individuals are asked to encourage as many responses as possible to ensure that Childhood and Adolescent Cancers will be noticed by EU policy makers to ensure better awareness, access to innovative treatments, research, eradication of inequalities, care for survivors and financial supports. This is an important opportunity to have your voice heard at EU level

If you think you can help, please do the following before 11pm Irish time 7th May 2020.

1. Register on (confirmation email may take up to 24 hours-so you are encouraged to create an account well in time to allow completion of the questionnaire before the deadline.

2. Access the EU Cancer Public Consultation…/i…/12154-Europe-s-Beating-Cancer-Plan

CCI-Europe, SIOPE, and PanCare, (the Organisations representing parents, survivors and the medical professionals working in the field of childhood cancer) have adopted a collaborative approach to the consultation and have developed a template of replies with agreed key messages, which you can use and add to if you wish.

The more completed questionnaires received, the more importance Childhood and Adolescent Cancer will receive in the EU Beating Cancer Plan.

Click HERE for a copy of the questionnaire.

The number of submissions matter – this is your chance to be heard – Together we can make a difference.…/initiatives/12154-Europe-s-Beating……/i…/12154-Europe-s-Beating-Cancer-Plan

Croke Park Abseil

Will you scale the dizzying heights of Croke Park this year for Childhood Cancer Ireland? On 28th September 2024, our team will abseil from Croke Park Stadium, the third highest stadium in Europe, to raise funds for Childhood Cancer Ireland. Every day, our #GoldRibbonHeroes face their own challenges with unimaginable bravery. Now, you can take on your own challenge to show your support for all of the children, adolescents and young adults facing their own battles this year, and in honour of all of the children and young people taken far too soon by childhood cancer. Why not bring your friends and family along to cheer you on! Further information (important – please read):
  • The minimum fundraising target for this event is €350.
  • A €50 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your place.
  • You must be over the age of 18 to take part.
  • If you are over the age of 65, you must seek the advice of your GP before taking part.
  • Fitness is not very important but agility/mobility is very important as reaching the start of the abseil requires the descending of 3 short ladders and climbing over a barrier. If you have mobility issues, please let us know. If you have had recent surgery, are or could be pregnant or you have back pain or other medical/mobility issues, you must seek your GP’s advice before partaking in this event.
  • The weight limit is 120kg.

Will you join us?

  1. Register your interest here
  2. We will be in touch to take your deposit to secure your place
  3. We will send you a link to start your online fundraising page to make reaching your target as easy as possible!
28 Sep 2024

Women's Mini Marathon 2024

Join Team Childhood Cancer Ireland for the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 2024! Walk, jog or run on Sunday 2nd June to help raise vital funds for our services and experience the magic of this special event. Come out in solidarity with families affected by childhood cancer around the country this June Bank Holiday. Your support enables us to provide practical and emotional supports to hundreds of families, including our Beads of Courage Programme, refurbishment of isolation rooms in 16 shared care hospitals nationwide and our peer support and other emotional support programmes.
Join Team Childhood Cancer Ireland
Simply Join Our Team Here to create your personal fundraising page to start raising funds for Childhood Cancer Ireland. You can then easily share your fundraising page via text, social media or email using the ‘Share’ button. Thank you so much for your support!
02 Jun 2024

Webinar Part 2

A diagnosis of childhood, adolescent or young adult cancer can leave families reeling financially, as well as emotionally. On top of dealing with the initial shock of the diagnosis and the fear of what’s ahead, one parent may need to take a step back from work at short notice, leaving the family on a reduced income at a time when you’re facing the additional costs associated with treatment, such as travel, accommodation, food and childcare, among others.   It can be difficult to navigate your way through the assistance that is available to families during treatment or to figure out what financial products (such as insurance) you may have yourself that could help.  

New webinars – Financial Pathways through Childhood Cancer  

Childhood Cancer Ireland is delighted to partner with 
LIAthe Centre of Excellence for the education and development of financial professionals, to offer a series of webinars that will help you manage your finances, both during and after treatment.  

Financial Pathways through Childhood Cancer – Part 2

Wednesday 28th February at 7.00pm 
  • Rebuilding your financial security after treatment – family financial planning 
  • Long-term financial planning for survivors (including the Right to be Forgotten)  
  • Guardianship arrangements and estate planning for parents of children with long-term care 
Joining us on both webinars are Mark Hedderman, LIA and CEO of Hedderman Financial Solutions (HFS) and Stephanie O’Brien, Senior Social Worker with CHI at Crumlin.  More information and registration

28 Feb 2024