Here is the story of an amazing Barretstown Mum and her friends taking on the Barretstown St. Kevin’s Way 25km Challenge to help impact the lives of serious ill children.
Ethan was born a healthy and happy baby boy who loved his two older brothers and big sister. He had such an adorable & infectious personality & his smile could melt your heart.
One morning when he was just 5 months old he became terribly ill. Three days later the doctors told us the words no parent should ever hear…. “your child has cancer”. It was incomprehensible news. Ethan was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit in Crumlin hospital where he was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer . For over 8 months he underwent extremely aggressive chemo treatments including a stem cell transplant and several surgeries. Throughout all of his treatment we used to sing his favourite song ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….’ to help comfort him. Despite all of Ethan’s gruelling treatment, on the 11th July 2018, just three weeks after we had celebrated his first birthday our darling Sunshine Warrior passed away.
The pain and devastation of losing a child is impossible to describe or imagine. Grief comes in different shapes and in rolling stages. No parent should ever have to deal with it.
A few months after Ethan’s passing we were introduced to Barretstown and the wonderful bereavement camp they run for families.
Grief from child loss can be a very lonely experience but in Barretstown this was the one place were we could be honest with ourselves and get the respite we needed from the world.
To be with others who just ‘get’ the intense grief and pain we are experiencing. It was without doubt the best thing we could have done as a family. Our other children loved it, they got to be little kids again and leave all their worries at the car park. My husband and I were able to really be ourselves because everyone there has gone through the same pain.
It’s hard to put into words but Barretstown gave us so much hope, comfort and solidarity at a time when felt so utterly lost and alone.
Having being inspired by the work of Barretstown I wanted to support the charity by raising money. Myself and seven friends, Ursula Kelly, Mimy Motley, Sheenagh Carrol, Karen O’Connor, Louise Smyth, Nicola Leonard and Eimear Conifrey completed the Barretstown’s St. Kevin’s Way 25km Challenge on the 6th October in our Sunshine Warrior Ethan’s memory and raised over €12,000 for Barretstown.