Darragh's Story

"It allowed our child to just be a child again."

Cancer steals the magic and fun from childhood.

At Barretstown we have created a magical world, where children, like Darragh, can come to get a break from their illness and rebuild the confidence cancer can take away. Where they can experience the incredible wonder and fun of being a child again and the therapeutic benefits that brings.

Your generosity can help unlock that world for another child, like Darragh.

Please will you help another sick child attend a life changing Barretstown programme with a gift today? There is no better gift you can give, then to give a child back their childhood.

Cancer steals the magic and fun from a child's life, and pauses their childhood. At Barretstown, we Press Play on childhood.

I want to Sprinkle a Little Magic! Donate Now

Darragh's Story

Darragh's Story

Darragh was a perfectly happy, healthy, soccer mad, six-year-old who loved nothing more than being outside. Or jumping on his bike. But one Saturday night, at his mum Paola’s, he suddenly woke up with awful pains in his upper thighs. So severe that she took him to the A&E in Cork, but all his bloods and assessments seemed fine. So, he was sent home.

After two more visits to A&E over the next 2 weeks more invasive tests had to be ordered.
Darragh was sent for a full MRI and lumber puncture. Before the end of that day, Karl and Paola were sitting in a room, in shock, as a team broke the horrific news… Darragh had Leukaemia. Within four hours they were in Crumlin in Dublin ready to start his treatment. That was on the 31st of July 2019.

By that Christmas eve in 2019, Darragh struggled to put out his Santa plate, he was in the throes of a grueling battle with his cancer. He’d lost his hair. An incredible amount of weight. And life had become about medications, injections and feeding tubes. And infection. After infection. After infection.

Paola, his mum, described how in the run up to that Christmas in 2019, he spent more time in their local hospital – the Mercy in Cork – than at home. It was so, so hard for him.

And by early 2020, they were at one of their lowest points. The cancer and treatments had taken such a toll on him. Both physically and emotionally.

It’s here that we were so grateful, to be able to reach out with a special invitation to Barretstown.

I want to Sprinkle some Magic!

Cancer throws children into such an adult world, overnight. The level of knowledge that Darragh has about cancer and medications is just unbelievable. He’d blow you away with his level of maturity. But that takes its toll. And while medicine is busy treating the illness, generous supporters just like you, allow Barretstown to treat the child.

Darragh's mum and dad, Paola and Karl, have written a short note to explain just how important Barretstown has been for their
family. How Darragh transformed. And how it lifted them all as a family. Helping them believe that there would be brighter days ahead.

Read Paola & Karl's Letter Here