How & why our official charity partner Aoibheann's Pink Tie was founded .... ... See MoreSee Less
Aoibheann’s Pink Tie Mission.
I have been asked many times to explain what Aoibheann’s Pink Tie is all about, I feel it is time and appropriate to explain.
On the 22/1/2009 our beautiful kind hearted daughter Aoibheann was diagnosed with cancer she was seven years of age at that time, as far as we were concerned a beautiful healthy child. Annmarie my wife was the first to notice that something was not quite right, Aoibheann was displaying behavioural changes and experiencing tiredness and a pale complexion, I never thought that anything was wrong I just thought it was growing pains and a little girl just growing up. When the doctor told us it was cancer and was at stage four a lot of Annmarie and myself died in that moment. The reason I spent so much time on Saint John’s ward the specialist children’s cancer ward in Dublin’s children’s hospital was simple; we also have twin girls who at that time I found impossible to look after, I was no good at giving them the attention they required and we decided that I would stay in hospital with Aoibheann as it was the best way, though Aoibheann would have far preferred her mother. After a huge operation to remove a two and a half kilo tumour from our seven year old baby girl a tumour as big as the baby she will never have, I was given the news that the company I worked for closed down SR Technics Aircraft maintenance Dublin Airport, I actually didn’t care we only cared about saving Aoibheann, I felt in that moment that if anyone was reading my story they would burn the book and bury it in concrete. In all of this time I observed so much hardship on the ward the emotional and economic devastation to families was something I could not comprehend. In all of this horror it may seem strange but we were lucky in the family and friends around us, my friends in Dublin airport were incredible our families rallied around us and my great friend Mick Rochford stood beside me through thick and thin. This was where the seed started to grow in my mind of a practical organisation to help families of children fighting cancer.
Today we will give financial support to any family on Saint John’s ward it ranges in its amount and is guided by our conversations with the family and consultation with the social workers on the ward. We will help twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. We will pay for accommodation getting a car repaired buying heating oil paying utility bills, help with rents mortgages school fees we will do whatever it takes to help a family and our help will never have a no sign on the door; we will do whatever it takes to ease the pain in our individual way. Cry on our shoulder we will listen we are the listing ear because we know sadly what we are talking about. We have brought specialised ideas for the children from the Hickman dry suit which allows a child with cancer to swim (as they cannot due to a special line in their chest) we give all the girls Pink dresses and the lads Army uniforms, we decorates the children’s rooms with our very own PICNOMINATE where the children design the murals for their bedroom walls and then pick the next child to have this gift. We brought Chemo Duck to Ireland an idea to help the children understand their treatment, and our pillow” Dream with Aoibheann” that has a speaker in it and allows music or even phone conversation be heard through it. We send families on respite breaks and treat them as best we can. We will give our all to the child who needs us the most the child that deserves to see as much as they can. We have a birthday list and if a family with a child of Saint John’s wishes we send them a birthday present, we also look after siblings with gifts; we send flowers on anniversaries and balloons on those special memory birthdays If possible we get the children to meet their hero’s pop stars sports personalities actors whatever it takes to put a smile on their face. We look across the world to find new ideas, our Facebook page is used to spread awareness and tell our story. If a parent has to make that mad dash to the hospital they may have not had a chance to pack the basics they need, we designed an emergency pack it contains deodorant shampoo a towel sanitary products tooth paste three tooth brushes tea bags coffee a pen and note pad and information on how to contact us for financial support and the bag can be used as a wash bag. We hold two huge parties a year our heroes and princesses summer party and our Christmas party anyone that has witnessed these parties will tell you how special they are.
I hope this explains our work and lets people see how diverse we are and that we are only starting, we have many more ideas we want to share. We will run out of time before we run out of ideas and ways to help the children of Ireland and the world blighted by childhood cancer, it is everything to all of us in Aoibheann’s Pink Tie it is the blood that courses through our veins it is a mission we will never give up or back away no matter how hard it is.
I take this chance to thank every person who has helped us in any way, to the fantastic committee of Aoibheann’s Pink Tie but I thank one very special person our darling Aoibheann who has brought light into a very dark place she is THE LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT.
Mr James Norman
CEO and Co Founder of Aoibheann's Pink Tie
Text PINK TIE to 50300 to donate 2 Euro to this amazing charity or see www.aoibheannspinktie.ie for more info and for ways you can help.
Hill 16 Army is proud and privileged to have National Children's Cancer Charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie as the pages charity partner.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS - One of ten clubs chosen for Gaelic4Teens
The Ladies Gaelic Football Association have confirmed the 10 clubs who have been selected to take part in the new and exciting Gaelic4Teens pilot programme over the coming months.
The innovative programme has been developed as a result of extensive research undertaken by the LGFA with clubs who were asked the areas that concern them most and that they wanted help with. The programme aims to help clubs to recruit and retain 15-17 year olds which has been identified as an age group with a very high drop-out rate.
The 10 clubs that will take part in the pilot programme are St. Brigid’s (Roscommon), Éire Óg (Clare), Valley Rovers (Cork), Mungret St. Paul’s (Limerick), Doire Colmcille (Derry), Crosserlough (Cavan), Naomh Muire Iochtar na Rossan (Donegal), Lucan Sarsfields (Dublin), Clonguish (Longford) and St. Patrick’s (Wicklow).
The programme will work closely with coaches, influencing the content of their coaching sessions as well as establishing the best ways for coaches to communicate with their players.
The programme will constantly be monitored and evaluated to ensure that it achieves the aim of having a direct impact on the retention of these players.
As well as tailoring training sessions there will be a focus on education sessions that will see star players like Sharon Courtney, Cora Staunton and Cliodhna O’Connor provide their expertise and advice to the participants throughout the duration of the programme.
The research that prompted the development of the Gaelic4Teens programme revealed that players play for enjoyment, to keep fit and healthy, to relieve stress and because their friends also play. The reasons highlighted for giving up the sport are that they don’t get enough playing time, there is no fun at training, that it is too competitive and that they are treated differently.
The programme will begin on Saturday 25th February and will continue over the next two months with an evaluation taking place on completion of the pilot to analyse the impact on the players and their clubs.
For further information please contact Paula Prunty, LGFA National Development Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 8363156) ... See MoreSee Less