Cliona’s Foundation has helped sick children and their families around Ireland with the hidden costs of caring for a seriously ill child. During one of the most difficult periods of their lives, we hear how important the charity’s support was to families.
Naturally, parents drop everything when they discover their child is seriously ill. This results in one parent usually giving up their job to be at their bedside. Although expenses might be the last thing on their minds, the bills begin to add up over time. It causes unneeded pressure and stress to families who are trying to focus on caregiving. For some families, they face the harsh reality of being unable to afford to be at their sick child’s bedside in the hospital.
Cliona’s Foundation is a source of relief for families as they help them cover the non-medical costs of care such as accommodation, fuel, food and childminders. They have been a lifeline to over 800 Irish families.
Cliona’s Foundation Family Stories
Like the majority of us, this family “didn’t plan for a sick baby.” Their son spent four months in hospital, and it was an expensive time for the household with fuel and food bills.
The couple also had a three-year-old at home, “who’s life was turned upside down.” It meant Dad, who is self-employed wasn’t in a position to work full time. The financial relief given by Cliona’s Foundation really made a difference.
The family-of-four said, “we’ll just take one day at a time and please god the future is brighter for us. I can tell you this payment means so much. It’s so good to think there is an organisation out there who takes care of families like us.”
“They Keep Coming”
A family from Clare also shared just how fast money disappears “between parents’ accommodation, parking and food,” while their baby was “battling hard in the hospital.”
“At the time we didn’t care about bills or anything, but they keep coming no matter what going on,” the new mum explained.
But with her husband unable to work for the seven weeks their baby was in Crumlin Hospital, they thanked Cliona’s Foundation for their “kindness,” expressing how much their support has helped them.
This Wexford family was at “breaking point” with their son spending five and a half months in Crumlin Hospital.
Explaining the situation, they said, “it was bad enough him being so sick, but all the added expenses of just trying to maintain our home too, along with living in Dublin…Even just trying to have money for travelling up and down, and eating was near impossible.”
Thanking Cliona’s Foundation, the family said the cheque was a “godsend”.
How you can Help Cliona’s Foundation and Families
To help families like these, you can donate to Cliona’s Foundation or organise a fundraising event to support them. The charity solely depends on donations as they don’t receive any state support.
They also have a very special book written by 13-year-old Keeva Delaney from Kilkenny. The book details a little girl Melissa who is in hospital. Her 13 dolls, however, are at home with her sister, Ann (who isn’t the best babysitter). Full of humour, mischief and colourful illustrations, 100% of the book’s purchase price goes to Cliona’s Foundation.