“Barretstown provides children with an adventure wonderland”

Guest blog post from mum Geraldine Doyle who attended one of Barretstown’s family camps, and is now an avid runner!


In 2010 the Doyle family’s world went into a tailspin when Max, then 4, was diagnosed with cancer. Long periods of treatment began in Crumlin Hospital and mum Geraldine describes the whole period as being quite isolating. In St. John’s Ward in Crumlin the Doyles learned about Barretstown and later that year attended a family camp. In her own words Geraldine describes the family’s journey through Barretstown.

“Barretstown has played an integral role in my son Max’s recovery. In 2010 Max was diagnosed with a brain tumor and it was through Max’s treatment in Crumlin Hospital that we came to hear about this magical place. During Max’s treatment I had noticed flyers about Barretstown but it was our social worker who suggested to me that we attend one of the family camps.

Barretstown provides a world renowned, medically endorsed Therapeutic Recreation programme for children with serious illness and their families in a fun, safe and friendly environment. There are a large range of activities that take place under the watchful eyes of Caras, like archery, canoeing, high ropes, drama and arts & crafts to name just a few.

Children diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses tend to be cocooned in treatment for long periods of time, isolating them from their peers and friends. Barretstown in contrast provides the children with an adventure wonderland where they can become children again.

We didn’t know what to expect when we approached the big iron gates but all knew that we were very excited. In a time when we felt very vulnerable and isolated it was a weekend we could all be together and be a “normal” family again. From the moment we entered those gates it was a brilliant experience!


This year will mark the 2nd anniversary of our fundraising road race, the Pink Run, an event I sit on of the committee of. It will be taking place in our local village Redcross, Co. Wicklow. Last year proceeds from the day went to our local hospice and this year it was decided that we would donate the proceeds from the Pink Run to Barretstown. Taking place on the 20th July, we hope this year’s Pink Run will be even bigger and better with loads of pink, smiles and FUN on the day!”

Click here to find out more about the event!