September is International Childhood Cancer Awareness month and to mark it, we wanted to share some incredible stories from some of our Amazing Camper Heroes. Read Elsie Mae’s story below and stay tuned on our social channels for more throughout the month.
ICC Month – Elsie Mae’s Story
Camper Hero: Elsie Mae
David and Richella's world was turned upside down when their little girl, Elsie Mae, was diagnosed with leukaemia at just 2 years of age. Elsie Mae underwent intensive treatment while her family could only watch on helplessly as it took a terrible toll on her delicate body.
'The first four weeks in hospital were devastating. She lost so much weight so quickly. She got all these really, really bad cold sores on her mouth. She was so pale.' - Richella.
It was a desperate time for the whole family. They really felt as though their lives had been put on hold. But then Barretstown changed everything.
Barretstown gave us hope!
Barretstown was something I’d heard of, but I’d no idea what is was. We were extremely anxious before we came. We didn’t know what to expect. But, when we got there, for me, it was like a comfort blanket. It was like somebody put a little blanket around us and told us ‘You’re okay. You’re safe here. Here you can breathe.’ The people who volunteer at Barretstown are amazing. You walk into this beautiful environment where you’re met at the car by three or four people who take your bags for you and want to do things for you. They want you to sit down and they’re making you coffee. You just walk in the door, leave your real worries behind you and have a fantasy weekend.
'When you come to Barretstown, it's like you leave your troubles at the door. You become part of Barretstown, part of the fun. The biggest impact Barretstown has had is to enable us to know that there was something else outside of cancer' - Richella.
After two and a half years of gruelling treatment, Elsie Mae thankfully finished her cancer treatment in August 2020. Elsie Mae is now five and is looking forward to more swimming now that she has finally had her Freddie (Hickman Line) removed. Elsie Mae should be starting school this month but will have to wait until January due to additional precautions because of Covid-19.
Your support changes lives
Right now, all over Ireland, there are thousands of children whose lives are on hold while they’re coping with serious illnesses. So many are missing out on the happy childhood that every child deserves. Your support is allowing us to reach more and more children and their families who desperately need our life-changing therapeutic camps and programmes now more than ever. Thank you for helping us to spread the magic!Donate Today