Campaigners to turn landmarks gold for young cancer sufferers

Dozens of parents who have children with cancer have joined forces to turn Ireland gold for a whole week.

They want to light up notable buildings and landmarks in gold for the first week in September to raise awareness of Ireland’s young cancer sufferers.

Commitments to change colour have already been secured from a string of famous landmarks, including Dublin buildings The Mansion House, St Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Conference Centre; The Firkin Crane in Cork; and Galway’s Eyre Square.

Businesses such as Capita Life & Pensions have also signed up to the initiative, which is being run in conjunction with the Children’s Medical Research Foundation to help raise funds for St John’s ward in Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

Ireland will not be the only country to turn gold, as charities from at least 15 other countries are also aiming to light up as many international landmarks as possible in September, which is childhood cancer awareness month.

Already on board for the global campaign are landmarks such as the Niagara Falls and Boston sites Zakim Bridge, Atlantic Wharf, and the Prudential Tower, while chiefs of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, have also signed up to the campaign.

However, organisers of the campaign — which represents children and families in treatment, those in remission, and those who have lost their battle to cancer — want to see gold shining in as many places as possible in September.

Antoinette Doyle, who is involved in the campaign, knows only too well why it’s vital this campaign is a success. The mother of four from Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, lost her five-year-old son, Oisin, to a rare condition called juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia in Jan 2008.

Her only daughter, Caitlin, who is seven, is receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Like the parents of the other 1,200 children who are treated every year in Crumlin’s St. John’s Ward, Antoinette has nothing but praise for the excellent staff.

But the parents are desperate to change the “substandard conditions” at the under-resourced cancer unit that their youngsters are forced to endure by raising as much money as possible.

She said: “It’s important as many buildings as possible sign up to this and that it becomes an annual event.”

*For more information on the Irish campaign, including fundraising details, email info@lightitupgold.ie.

Website lightitupgold.ie will be fully up and running next week.

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