Waterford IT to 'Light It Up Gold' to raise awareness of childhood cancer services

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

Waterford IT to 'Light It Up Gold' to raise awareness of childhood cancer services

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is hosting its fifth annual event to raise awareness of childhood cancer and to raise funds for The Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The Golden Moments Afternoon Tea event runs from 3-4pm on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 in the Tourism & Leisure building on the WIT Cork Road Campus.

Every September the Childhood Cancer Foundation runs a campaign called Light It Up Gold. It is part of an international awareness campaign as research into childhood cancer is grossly underfunded. 

Light It Up Gold is marked at WIT because back in 2013 three mothers working in WIT all met on St John’s Ward in Our Lady's Children's Hospital with their children.

One of these mothers is Janet O’Neill. O’Neill, who is organising the event this year says that her aim is to increase awareness of the supports available to families affected by childhood cancer.

“We want to help other parents who may have this ahead of them as well as those whose children are in treatment so they know what services are out there, and that there are people they can turn to. Siobhan, whose son was diagnosed six weeks ahead of mine, was my peer to peer. It is amazing what a head start six weeks give.”

Her colleague Siobhan Drohan who has been involved with Light It Up Gold for a number of years notes that as well as raising awareness of services, fundraising is an important factor as research into childhood cancer is hugely underfunded. “Any money raised at the event will be donated to the Childhood Cancer Foundation. We will have a raffle and gold pins will be on sale - the gold ribbon is the international symbol for childhood cancer.”

Local families that have been affected by childhood cancer will be in attendance as well as staff and students. The idea behind ‘Golden Moments Afternoon Tea’ is for everybody to take a moment out of their busy schedules and consider how they can support each other.

On the day there will be speakers and entertainment including: a parent will talk about her daughter’s experience fighting leukaemia; Noel Connors, Waterford Hurler, will talk about why he wears a bead of courage; students are volunteering to help out on the day and read a poem related to childhood cancer; a survivor of childhood cancer and her sibling will perform Irish dancing; there will be some tunes from a choir; there will be face painters and nail artists from Waterford College of Further Education; fun science activities from Calmast and colouring in for the kids. There will be a raffle and gold pins will be for sale.

As part of Light it Up Gold the Tourism & Leisure Building is lit up at night in gold, as well as the WIT homepage and other websites.