Sinead and her partner Hugh have had to leave their jobs so that they could care for their sick son but with three other children at home, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
Sinead said: “I have been working since I was 16 so I was scared to take the time off but I obviously was going to do what I had to do to be with Jake. My partner was travelling up and down to Belfast to take care of our other three and get them ready for school while also being with Jake. So, between the travelling and being on reduced sick pay, we were starting to feel the pinch. My sisters partner’s mammy suggested a fundraiser for us and I was so embarrassed at the thought of it. I didn’t want it to happen at all but, eventually, I gave her the go ahead and once it was up, the messages came flooding in.
“People we didn’t even know were messaging us with support and to say that they know people who went through the same thing as children who are grown now. Those messages were so supportive, especially because we were dealing with everything through Covid and we were so isolated.
“Jake had only been to his nursery for two weeks before he got sick but they organised a coffee morning for him, my friends cousin did a raffle and there was a GoFundMe. It just took all the stress away from worrying about money. If it wasn’t for the fundraisers, we would have been worrying about paying for gas and electric and petrol up to Belfast too for appointments.
“Jake is on maintenance now so se’s on a lighter chemo now for the next thee years. You can see him come back to himself over the past few weeks and it’s amazing to see.”
Natasha Simpson, owner of Adoire & Edan and member of the Derry Business Collective, organised a raffle to help her friend Sinead.
She said: “We put a call out on Instagram for donations for the raffle and I couldn’t believe the amount of support we were getting! Everyone is great in Derry anyway, especially when it comes to pulling together.
“We’re taking donations for as long as we can. Money doesn’t go far so the more we can get the better. I’m hoping to do the raffle on May 20 but it depends on how much money we have raised by then.”
To donate money, buy a ticket or donate a prize, contact @derry_business_collective on Instagram.