"I saw the sparkle in her eyes that had been missing for too long."
The Effect of Childhood Cancer
Childhood Cancer inflicts a terrible burden on children and their families, forcing them into a life full of dread and fear. It brings their normal life grinding to a halt, and replaces it with endless treatments and life-altering side effects. Aoibhe is one of these children who has experienced the devastating effect of a cancer diagnosis. Read her story, and learn how Barretstown changes the lives children suffering from serious illnesses.
The Impact of Cancer
On 13th April 2021, Aoibhe was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma - an extremely rare soft tissue cancer affecting the head and neck. The days that followed were some of the worst. Sitting on the hospital bed, all Aoibhe was worried about was her tablet running out of charge. Not the GP visit, the hospital dash or the scans and blood tests. No, she just wanted her charger.
All her mum Orla wanted was for the nightmare to be over for her little girl. But it was just the beginning.
Aoibhe’s world went from playing with her pals, painting, drawing and dancing to dealing with her hair falling out. Yet she dealt with it in true Aoibhe style. On the day of her
Communion, she wore the most glorious pink wig. It lasted a couple of hours before she decided she couldn’t be doing with it anymore and was much happier being bald!
Aoibhe decides to come to Barretstown
``Before she came to camp, I remember overhearing her telling one of the volunteers at the Summer open day about the things she wouldn’t be able to do at camp. And they told her, 'Here, we don’t say we can’t. We say we try.'`` - Orla, Aoibhe's mum
You Can Make a Difference for Children like AoibheDonate Today
Before Barretstown, Aoibhe spent so long standing on the sidelines. The list of things she couldn’t do grew longer every week while her confidence shrank fast. But at Barretstown, Aoibhe was given the chance to get back to being a child; to laughing, smiling & growing. She made friends who knew what she was going through. She did activities that she didn’t even think her body would be able for. And most importantly of all, she regained her belief in herself, and her hope for the future.
Barretstown’s Therapeutic Programmes provide a unique space where all of this and more is possible Your support can help us to continue this work, so that every child facing a serious illness is given then chance to believe in themselves, just like Aoibhe did.
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