James Byrne(right) and Josh Tunney (left) with Minister Simon Harris
The Minister for Health Simon Harris has visited Barretstown, the charity which provides specialised camps and programmes for children with serious illnesses and their families, to mark International Childhood Cancer Day today.
Mr Harris met campers and staff at Barretstown which provides Therapeutic Recreation programmes for children with cancer and other serious illnesses from all over Ireland. All of Barretstown’s programmes are provided entirely free of charge for the children and families who attend.
Minister Harris said: “I am honoured to visit Barretstown and to see first-hand the incredible work that this charity does for children with serious illnesses such as cancer, and for their families. On my visit, I’ve seen the very real and positive impact Barretstown has in terms of helping children on the road to recovery and I commend all the staff, volunteers and supporters for their commitment to helping the campers.”
Dee Ahearn, CEO at Barretstown, said: “Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness, supported behind the scenes by 24-hour, on-site medical and nursing care. The children we serve are often going through a difficult time.
“They suddenly find themselves in a very different world to the one they are used to, one with hospitals and doctors, and sometimes very difficult and uncomfortable treatment. At Barretstown it is our aim to give children back their childhood. We are thrilled that Minister Harris has visited us at camp to mark International Childhood Cancer Day and raise awareness of our programmes.”
Barretstown has increased its camper numbers by 106% in the last five years. It celebrated a significant milestone in 2017 when it served its 40,000th camper. To find out more visit www.barretstown.org, follow @Barretstown on Twitter or visit www.facebook.com/Barretstown.
International Childhood Cancer Day is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.