Sometimes it just takes a child’s smile to make our day complete. And my day was made complete earlier with the smile of little Cara! Cara is a little girl in our village who is suffering with leukaemia. At just 3 years old she has spent much of the past year in hospital and undergoing treatment. However, when you meet her, the world just becomes a better place. This little girl is full of life, vitality and love. Every child is special but this little lady makes you feel special just by being in her company.
I met with Cara today as I wanted to highlight a charity that does a lot of work for children with cancer.
Aoibheann’s Pink Tie was set up in 2010 after Chairperson Jimmy Norman’s daughter, Aoibheann, passed away. During their long battle with cancer, Jimmy met with a lot of parents going through the trauma of having a child with cancer, and more specifically identified with the financial burden that inevitably follows diagnosis. The charity is registered with the Irish Cancer Society and affiliated with St. John’s Oncology Ward in Crumlin Hospital. Olympic gold medal champion Katie Taylor is our charity ambassador.
Cara, Aoibheanns Pink tie
What does Aoibheann’s Pink Tie do? ‘What we do is provide financial and practical help to those families in need of it. This will hopefully allow the families the ability to focus on their child and working through their illness. Families are often lost in the mix when their children go through this battle, but it’s not just the child that gets cancer, it’s the whole family as each is affected and must struggle. We raise funds through various events and fundraisers that people would like to do for us and we use this to support families who are recommended to us by the senior social worker in St. John’s Ward Crumlin Hospital.’
When I met little Cara today, she was wearing a beautiful pink princess dress. I admired it and asked Cara where she got her lovely dress. She fondly told me, ‘from Aoibheann’s Pink Tie’. Cara’s mother explained to me that the charity give all little girls diagnosed with cancer a princess dress and all the little boys get superhero outfits. This helps the children to believe in themselves and to raise their self-esteem. Cara is certainly very proud of her stunning dress. Shortly after I arrived the pink dress was taken off and another stunning pink dress was put on. Again Cara told me this was from Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. A beautiful colourful teddy was sitting on the window….yet another gift from Aoibheann’s Pink Tie to Cara on her birthday this year. These little gifts have clearly allowed the smile on Cara’s face to shine.
Cara’s mother explained to me some of the work this charity does. It assists in financial help where families need it. It helps to support the families emotionally and psychologically. It helps the children to continue as normal a life as is possibly whilst suffering with cancer. It ensures that the children and their families are NOT ALONE. ‘There are so many little things that people don’t see’ said Cara’s Mum. It’s these little things which help make the world a brighter place for the children and their family.
In two weeks time the annual Maurice McMenamin run/walk is taking place from Redcastle to The Carmans Inn. This fundraiser helps raise money for The Meningitis Research Foundation. This year the McMenamin family have kindly added Aoibheann’s Pink Tie to the event. All monies raised will go towards both charities. On Sunday August 24th the 10k run/walk will take place. Please, please come out and support this event. So many people will benefit from it.
Cara, Maurice gang
Just last week Aoibheann’s Pink Tie arranged for little Cara to have a special wall in her bedroom. Spending so much time in hospital it is always nice to come home and sleep in ones own bed. Little Cara now has a room fit for any princess. Thanks to Aoibheann’s Pink Tie.
Cara, Wall
I left little Cara today and had a tear in my eye. It wasn’t a tear of sadness for Cara. This little lady is so cheery you can’t help but fall in love with her and feel very proud just to meet her. The tear was for my blind ignorance regarding childhood cancer and how little the government provide for these children. BUT we live in an amazing community…one where people continually give to others.
Please come along on August 24th and help raise much needed money for Meningitis Research and also for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie. Help other children to smile just like our very own little Cara.