Some of Donegal’s most notable buildings and landmarks are once again Lighting Up Gold in September as part of the 4th annual Light It Up Gold campaign for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.
The Irish campaign was launched following a candlelit walk in Dublin and is part of a wider international campaign originating in the USA.
This has seen buildings across the world ‘Light It Up Gold’ in September to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer.
Mary Claire Rennick of Childhood Cancer Foundation states: “We are getting a great response from buildings across Ireland. The campaign is spreading every year with buildings across Ireland and the UK joining international landmarks. My own daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia in February 2013 and prior to that I was completely unaware of childhood cancer, as parents who have experienced this disease we 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. Awareness will also lead to improved funding for supports and services for families and funding for research into childhood cancer.”
Over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland. That’s four 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.
In County Donegal, the Public Service Centres in Dungloe, Donegal Town and Milford are going gold. In Buncrana, the Council Offices and Castle Bridge are all already lit up gold. In Letterkenny the Polestar monument and An Grianán Theatre have been shining gold since September 1st as has the Castle Folly at Oakfield Park in Raphoe.
Mary Claire Rennick concludes “Awareness is crucial to ensure the whole community recognises the immediate devastating effect of childhood cancer on children and families and also the long term effects of cancer and harsh treatments. Studies from the USA have shown that over eighty percent of childhood cancer survivors will have long term health effects. We need awareness to guarantee these survivors get full access to health and education supports to ensure a long and happy life after cancer.”