Andrea, Jake (3) and Padraic Smith from Cavan, this year’s LauraL ynn, Ireland Christmas Appeal family.
LauraLynn, Ireland’s Children’s Hospice, is calling on the public to donate to its Christmas Appeal this year and help give LauraLynn families across the country the precious gift of time together this Christmas. The appeal will help raise vital funds needed to address a shortfall of €750,000 in this year’s fundraising target and maintain the services they provide to families across Ireland.
“A Christmas Wish” is the theme of this year’s appeal, and LauraLynn is inviting people to make this wish come true for families of children with life-limiting conditions by contributing a donation of any size either online at www.lauralynn.ie, by phone on 01 2893151, or via the Christmas Appeal packs that have been distributed to households nationwide.
There are over 150 children from all around Ireland that, with their whole family, avail of LauraLynn’s services free of charge, giving them the ‘gift of time together’ that is so rare when looking after a sick child. This year the LauraLynn Christmas Appeal features one such family, the Smiths from Cavan, whose son Jake (3) was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) on Christmas Eve shortly after he was born. GBM is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer and found very rarely in children, and Jake requires constant 24/7 care and attention. LauraLynn’s at home service has helped immensely in relieving his parents and siblings of this strain by giving them time for activities that are often taken for granted, such as enjoying lunch out as a family.
Commenting on the launch of the appeal, Rachel Nolan, interim CEO, said “Families who are caring for a child with a life-limiting condition can’t plan in advance the way the rest of us do; not even at Christmas. As a result of their child’s complex medical requirements, they need to have expert support and care in order to enjoy the normal traditions of Christmas together as a family. With support from LauraLynn and the funds raised through this appeal, families like the Smiths can fulfil their Christmas Wish with the precious gift of time together, making wonderful memories and fully enjoying Christmas traditions.”
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It costs €5.1m per year to keep LauraLynn’s Children’s Hospice running, €3.5m of which is generated via fundraised income such as the Christmas Appeal, as well as events, merchandise sales, and other activities In addition to the Christmas Appeal, there are a number of other ways that people can support LauraLynn this December: its online shop at lauralynn.ie/shop sells Christmas gifts, the latest U2 cover album The Joshua Tree - New Roots, tickets for events, and more.
LauraLynn, the only dedicated children’s hospice in the State, provides clinical care, healthcare support, and palliative care services to children with exceptional and life-limiting conditions. Of the 3,810 children with life-limiting conditions in Ireland, it is estimated that up to 724 of them require specialist hospice care. Close to 350 children with a life-limiting condition die each year, most within the first year of life. Since opening in 2011, LauraLynn has cared for more than 325 children and their families and provided more than 275,000 hours of short stay care provided to children in LauraLynn Hospice.
More information is available on www.lauralynn.ie