Derry family raise in excess of £9,000 for Children’s Hospice

Seanain McCallion, with her sisteres Chloe and Grace, with a cheque for over �9,000 for the Children's Hospice. Pic by Peter McKane.
Seanain McCallion, with her sisteres Chloe and Grace, with a cheque for over �9,000 for the Children's Hospice. Pic by Peter McKane.

A Derry family whose daughter has multiple medical conditions, has raised in excess of £9,000 for the N. Ireland Children’s Hospice.

For the last five years the Children’s Hospice, based in Newtownabbey, has become a ‘home from home’ for the McCallion family.

Six-year-old Seanain was born with multiple conditions- 17 in total - including Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.

She attends the hospice three times a year and her mum, Kathleen, describes it as her ‘security blanket’.

“There are very few people I would leave Seanain with overnight. The hospice staff are trained to work with children, no matter what their illness or disability.

“Seanain calls it her sleep over, she absolutely loves it.”

The family decided to hold a fundraiser to raise much needed funds for the Children’s Hospice and spent months planning the perfect night.

They hoped to raise £5,000 but exceeded all expectations and raised a total of £9,438.

Kathleen said the family was ‘absolutely delighted’ with their success and are so ‘thankful’ for people’s support.

“The money raised will provide at least a few weeks of care for child in palliative care. Children can arrive at the hospice very ill and they work with children from all over, including Derry.

“I would do anything for the Children’s Hospice. I’m in awe of them. Every single penny counts, when you walk in you see where your money is spent and you can see how much joy it brings to the children.”

The fundraising night was in jeopardy after Seanain became very unwell after a planned operation.

“Seanain had her large bowel removed and after we were sent home she became so unwell. She went septic and spent a week in ICU. She was in and out of hospital for some time after that.

“Because she had been so sick, the fundraising night was something for her to look forward to and she couldn’t wait to see all her friend and teachers. She is a social butterfly and that night she was up to the early hours, loving life.”

Sheila Duffy, Head of Fundraising at Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Seanain and her family have raised over £9k for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. It costs over £14m per annum to run NI Hospice services. The money raised will enable us to continue to care for local infants, children and young people living with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.”