Christmas is a very special time for families, but it can be particularly hard for families living with a serious illness. This Christmas Jaime Jane Hanrahan and to help raise awareness and funds so that Barretstown can bring even more children living with cancer and serious illness to experience the magic of camp. Please donate today.
Jaime Jane was just three when her world was turned upside-down. Too tired to run around and play with her friends, her parents thought she might be anaemic, so they brought her to hospital for blood tests. Jaime Jane was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, and that was the beginning of her treatment that will last for at least two years.
Jaime Jane had to stay in hospital for the first eight weeks of her treatment, as doctors kept a close eye on her for infection. Surrounded day and night by doctors and nurses, she struggled to make sense of what was happening to her. She started going into herself…
“She got depressed. She was in isolation in hospital for a couple of days for a potential bug. Not being able to go out of her room really got her down. She even had days where she wouldn’t talk. And because of one of the medications she was on, she couldn’t walk for a few days.”
Even after she was eventually able to go home after her initial treatment she had to be kept away from other children. Her parents couldn’t risk her picking up more infections that could risk their little girl’s life. By last Christmas, seven months after beginning cancer treatment, Jaime Jane was still too sick to go to the Winterval Festival she had enjoyed so much the year before.
By spring this year, Jaime Jane had started to improve. Her parents had heard about Barretstown in hospital, and decided that a camp might be just what Jaime Jane needed. Still weak from her recent chemotherapy, Jaime Jane came to her first Family Weekend Camp with her parents.
Jaime Jane is missing out on so much because of cancer. But thanks to our supporters, she was able to come to Barretstown. It was as if a light had been turned on inside of her, according to her mum…
“When you think about it, it’s a quarter of her life that she’s been sick, so Barretstown gave her a big reminder of what she could do, and how she could be… I think she just kind of realised, maybe a little switch flipped on inside of her, like ‘Yeah, I can do this!’ whereas before she might have been more focused on her illness. She has definitely come out of her shell”
Watch this short video of Jaime Jane’s parents, Enda and Lisa talking about the impact of Barretstown
Help more children like Jaime Jane experience the magic of Barretstown by donating HERE