Childhood Cancer Foundation Launches Light It Up Gold Campaign

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Gold is the official colour.
Lord Mayor Christy Burke has launched the 2nd annual Light It Up Gold campaign with an ice-bucket challenge in the Mansion House. The lord Mayor has also agreed to light the Mansion House gold during September to raise awareness of childhood cancer.  As part of the international campaign originating in the USA, buildings across the world will light it up gold in September to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer. In Ireland buildings from Malin Head Coast Guard Station in Donegal to St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh and many in between such as the Bank of Ireland, the Convention Centre Dublin, Millmount in Drogheda, Belfast City Hall, the Spanish Arch in Galway and the Dunbrody Famine Ship in Waterford will Light It Up Gold during September.  They are joining international landmarks such as the Niagara Falls, Times Square New York and Harbour Bridge in Texas to light up gold for childhood cancer awareness. 
Mary Claire Rennick of Childhood Cancer Foundation states: “We are getting a great response from buildings across Ireland.  Our goal this year is to have gold shining in 32 counties across Ireland.  My own daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2013 and prior to that I was completely unaware of childhood cancer, now I want to ensure that everyone is aware. Increased awareness will improve early detection and increase understanding among policy makers and communities which will hopefully reduce the isolation of families going through childhood cancer treatment and side effects.” 
Over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland. That’s 4 families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister or grandchild has cancer. Childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease in children in Ireland.  Childhood Cancer Foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes amongst health care professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer and assisting to fund vital services for children and families affected by this disease.
As well as lighting up buildings and structures around Ireland the campaign features three candle lit walks in Dublin, Cork and Galway on 6 September at 6.30pm.  These walks and candlelit vigils serve to recognise and support the bravery of children undergoing treatment, honour the survivors and remember all the boys and girls who have tragically lost their young lives to this disease.   The walks will be led by the Mayor in each city and will have music and song and child friendly entertainment keeping in mind the serious reasons behind the event.
Mary Claire continues: Currently children diagnosed with cancer are not automatically entitled to a medical card and their families must undergo a means test.  The form filling and information gathering required for this process are an added burden on families facing an extremely stressful time.  Without the medical card families are forced to pay for inpatient treatment and for medications, medical equipment and dressings etc needed for children going through treatment.  Those affected by childhood cancer should have an automatic entitlement to a medical card given the serious nature of their illness.”
Events during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Dublin Walk
Date:   6 September                                     
Time:  6.30pm
Place: Meeting at St Patrick’s Park next to St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Event will include face-painting and kids entertainment in the park prior to a short walk led by the deputy mayor.  After the walk we will gather in St Patrick’s Cathedral for a short candle lit ceremony in St Patrick’s Cathedral with singing by the Maynooth Gospel Choir.  
Cork Walk
Date:   6 September                                     
Time:  6.30pm
Place: Meeting at Daunt Square in City Centre.
Event will include face-painting and kids entertainment prior to a short walk led by the Lady Mayor Mary Shields.  After the walk we will gather for a short candle lit ceremony with music and speeches.
Galway Walk
Date:   6 September                                     
Time:  6.30pm
Place: Meeting at Eyre Square in City Centre.
Event will include face-painting and kids entertainment prior to walk to Spanish Arch led by the Mayor Donal Lyons.  After the walk we will gather for a short candle lit ceremony with performances from Athenry Youth Choir and Youth Ballet West.
Light It Up Gold at the Curragh Racecourse for Irish Champions Weekend
Date: 14 September
Time: Gates open 12 noon, 1st race 2.05pm. Last race 5.45pm
In addition to world class horse racing, the race day will feature a variety of free entertainment for children in the Moyglare Stud Kids Zone (covered marquee) with the chance to ride the horse racing simulator, arts andcrafts work shop, face painting and the opportunity to meet some of the best known Disney characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, while outside there will be bouncy castles and other exciting activities. Emerald Garrison, Ireland’s Premier Star Wars Costuming Club will also be there in full force to support Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Family tickets reduced price of €30 with 50% of ticket price supporting Childhood Cancer Foundation available from:
The latest statistics about childhood cancer in Ireland:

  • In 2011 alone, there were 220 new cases diagnosed.
  • On average, 4 families per week are told their child has cancer.
  • 1 in every 300 children is diagnosed with cancer before they reach 20.
  • Over 1,200 children were diagnosed from 2005-2010.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children (2012).
  • Treatment is very aggressive and can last for years.  It can cause lifelong health issues.
  • 1 in 5 children diagnosed with cancer will die within 5 years.  Many childhood cancer types have much lower survival rates and are in desperate need of progress.
  • On average, 34 children die from cancer each year.

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