Sarah Appeal

My little girl’s childhood had been put on pause, but Barretstown was there to hit the play button

The Diagnosis

The Diagnosis

When Sarah was a year old she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, an aggressive type of leukaemia that children with Down Syndrome like Sarah are significantly more like to develop. Susan, Sarah's mum remembers that day only too well 'the day we received that devastating diagnosis was the day our lives began to fall apart'. Normal family life ground to a halt. Nothing mattered as much as saving Sarah’s life. But the only way to fight an aggressive cancer is with aggressive treatments. Treatments so severe that they have been known to kill a child before the disease can.

Every ounce of Sarah’s strength was being used to withstand her treatment and battle this horrible disease. Her weight plummeted. She lost all of her hair. A cold turned into pneumonia. And she developed septicaemia. She was really struggling.

The Treatment

The Treatment

As a mum nothing could have prepared Susan for how sick her baby girl was about to become. Every ounce of Sarah’s strength was being used to withstand her treatment and battle this horrible disease. Her weight plummeted. She lost all of her hair. A cold turned into pneumonia. And she developed septicemia. She was really struggling. Sarah stopped doing all the things a happy child does. She stopped smiling, laughing, playing and even her favourite things; singing and dancing. Cancer had stolen her joy and her music. She began to disappear inside herself and her family weren't sure they would ever get her back.

A Lasting Impact

A Lasting Impact

In Sarah's mums own words... '' My little girl’s childhood had been put on pause but Barretstown was there to hit the play button. Bit by bit we saw the old Sarah emerging from her shell. She began to laugh and play. She revelled in all the attention she received from the Caras and the other campers.

Through our laughter and spending time together as a family, we began to put our pieces back together and remember our life before cancer. And it was during our time in Barretstown I realised that all of that would be possible. That we could be the family we had been before cancer. In fact, we could be even better. During our time in Barretstown Sarah began to take back what cancer had taken away. And our family began to heal.''

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