Barretstown calls for support to help expand its services which are in more demand than ever, as it marks International Childhood Cancer Day
Ireland’s five-year survival rate after childhood cancers is now almost 80%*, according to Barretstown, the children’s charity which has provided a programme of therapeutic recreation to over 25,000 campers affected by childhood cancer since 1994. Childhood cancer survival is steadily increasing in Europe although in less developed countries the survival rate can be dramatically lower.
To mark International Childhood Cancer Day (Friday Feb 15th) Barretstown is calling on the public to give whatever support it can to its crucial programme for sick children at its camp in County Kildare. The camp helps children and their families to deal with the impact of the illness.
“We know from medical experts that intensive cancer treatment for children can last up to three years,” according to the Chief Executive of Barretstown Dee Ahearn. “While such treatment now produces so many very positive outcomes medically, its intensiveness and duration can seriously disrupt childhood.
Through the Barretstown camps and our Hospital Outreach Programme, we enable children to just be children, even while undergoing such disruptive treatment. With the improving survival rate it is now more vital that we can expand our programmes. We thank the public for their generous support in the past and urge them to continue to support our work on behalf of these children.”
(Dee Ahearn, Barretstown CEO pictured with Ella O’Keeffe (5) to mark International Childhood Cancer Day)
“Last year Barretstown served more than 2,900 campers through our residential camps and Hospital Outreach Programme and thanks to the generous contributions of is donors we will be expanding our programmes to hopefully facilitate more than 3,300 campers affected by cancer and other childhood illnesses,” added Ms Ahearn.
Barretstown needs €4.5 million a year to continue to provide these life changing programmes that are entirely free of charge to children and their families. Around 200 children are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland every year and around a thousand are likely to be diagnosed by the end of 2017. This year we are opening our facilities to children with other serious illnesses in order to provide normal childhood experiences to children whose lives are being disrupted by medical treatment.
Donations can be made at: www.barretstown.org/donate
International Childhood Cancer Day was initiated in 2002 by the International Confederation of Childhood Cancer Parent Organizations and this year it has partnered with the International Society of Paediatric Oncology to mark this day. (Find out more at www.icccpo.org)