DROMARA youngster Alannah Donnelly and her sister Leah were among more than 100 children from across the province to attend the recent Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children’s annual Christmas party.
The event, at Belfast’s Culloden Estate and Spa was organised as part of Children’s Cancer Awareness month, which takes place in December.
The party was, for many of the families attending, the first opportunity to come together as a unit after a difficult year of treatment and hospital appointments.
Alannah’s mum Julie-Anne spoke of how the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children supported her family when Alannah was diagnosed with cancer in September 2009, at the age of six.
“Lynn was our Family Support Worker,” she said. “She came to see us every week and her visits were the highlight of our week.
“When Alannah was in treatment it was a very lonely time. Due to the fear of infection, she couldn’t mix with other children and as a family we found it really isolating.
“Lynn’s visits were something to look forward to; she was another face coming into the house. Alannah really enjoyed the special one-to-one time with Lynn as they played or baked and I appreciated the couple of hours to get on with everyday tasks such as doing the grocery shopping or cleaning the house.”
In keeping with tradition, an array of special guests joined in the fun and festivities at thenrecent party; they included May McFettridge and the cast from this year’s Grand Opera House pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, Santa Claus, a magician, balloon makers and a DJ playing Christmas tunes.
Each child received a gift from Santa which was donated by Dr Perry Davis and his clients via his annual Toy Drive at Glengormley Chiropractic.