Joe was born with a condition called ARPKD which causes major problems with liver and kidneys. He has battled through the kidney problems having both removed and peritoneal dialysis and then hemodialysis and he spent the first year of his life in hospital. Unfortunately, now his liver is becoming a major problem and he needs a combined liver/kidney transplant. His condition leaves him very susceptible to illness which can knock him for six. He was very sick in intensive care this summer with sepsis and there is a significant mortality associated with this condition and combined liver/kidney transplant. He is just out of hospital this week after recovering from a chest infection but is now on the mend and smiling again. joe adores frozen and this would be an amazing experience for him. He also loves singing along to the songs and this would be a dream come true. We really appreciate the foundation for giving us a fantastic time together.
This is Lauren's story. Lauren is a 14 year old super hero who at the age of 3 was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. She was admitted to hospital last year to wait for a new heart. In October 2015 she received her transplant and is now on the road to recovery. She really enjoyed her surprise night out at the X Factor especially getting the chance to meet the X Factor stars backstage - see below.
This is Cora's story, a 15 year old super hero who loves Tupac and Airmax 95's. On Christmas Day she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma which changed her life and her families. Cora said 'I'm still me, I just want to live my life and spend time with my family which is the most important thing. Thank you to the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation for giving me my first night out in months'.
Special visit by Pinkie the Bear, our new Foundation mascot, giving out eggs to the kids in Out Patients, A&E and X-Ray of the Childrens Hospital in RVH. So many of these kids have a difficult time because they generally all have bloods taken etc and a little egg at the end of their visit made all the difference. The inpatient eggs were given out on Good Friday but Pinkie was there on the run up to Easter with a whole lot more eggs for the kids. Helping to give out the eggs were Geraldine, Play Specialist and Gillian.
Ruby and Georgina at the Grand Opera House, Belfast before going into see Sleeping Beauty Pantomime on 14/12/13. Ruby's Mum, Rachel wrote us a letter telling us all about Ruby's journey.......
Following her diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis at five and a half weeks Ruby attends Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children regularly for IV antibiotic treatment. She also currently attends every 3 months and the Outpatient Clinic monthly to get her Portacath flushed. She attends the Allen Ward where there is a Specialist Team who knows everything there is to know about Cystic Fibrosis. Ruby daily has to endure taking several mediation, nebuliser treatment and physiotherapy. Ruby is determined and strong and is a great wee girl with regards to her treatment but as with everything, she can become overwhelmed by it all at times. This is why a trip like this is always nice and takes everyones mind of her illness.
Thank you very much to the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation for this opportunity.
Christopher and Zara with Frosty the Snowman and Lou from the Ulster Orchestra.
Christopher's Dad, Michael shared his story with us.........On 27 September 2013 we were told by our consultant Dr Johnston Christopher's neuroblastoma could not be detected. This news was the best news anyone could have asked for- since December 6th 2012 when we were told that Christopher's 'sore legs' was now a tumour in his spine. After six cycles of chemotherapy and surgery we now have a 3 year old living life to the full with his big sister Zara, with no barriers holding him or us back. Under the circumstances, the Royal Childrens hospital has been our second home. A sanctuary where we as a family were safe, protected and understood. We had time here with all the staff to work Christopher through his treatment; we and all his medical staff team were behind him, encouraging him and pushing him to the goal we all wanted. Having ten nurses and physiotherapists clap and cheer Christopher on at 7.45am taking his first steps after surgery is one moment of many we will never forget. Christopher is now at nursery- enjoying his time there mixing with other children.
Christopher's Dad sent us a message after the show ' My family all really enjoyed and appreciated the Snowman. Thanks to the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation'
Thomas was diagnosed in 2010 with ALL Leukaemia when he was 4 years old.
Thomas's treatment is expected to last until June 2013. Gerald met up with Thomas and his Mum, Jill on 2nd October with a surprise for all the family. The Foundation has chosen them to be sent to Disney Land, Paris on 5th November this year. It has been an emotional and stressful time for the family and they are really looking forward to the holiday.
Eoghan Doyle from Castlewellan, Co. Down was diagnosed with Leaukemia on 31/5/10.
Now in remission on maintenance chemotherapy treatment, he gets lumber puncture every 3 months and every 4 weeks he gets chemotherapy through a line in his chest. He is also on chemotherapy at home every day.
Eoghan enjoyed a fantastic night with the family at the Christmas Panto at the Waterfront thanks to the Foundation.
Ryan, Aged 8 was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on the 3rd of March 2007.
"We were all devastated and couldnt take it in as he was so young. He started a course of chemotherapy and got out of hospital 3 weeks later. His treatment masts 3 years and is due to finish around April 2010 and goes to the Royal Childrens Hospital every 2 weeks.
He never complains about anything and is a very brave little boy. He says God is making him better every day and after being out of school for a year and a half he was really glad to get back and see all his friends. His low immune system stops him from going many places so he was really thrilled to get the chance to go to Disneyland. It is a break for all the family just before Christmas and we are all really looking forward to it."
Ryan goes to Gilnahirk Primary School and is in P5.
Two -year-old Brodie has not that long ago been disgnosed with rare genetic disorder called Metachromatic Leukodystrohy, a terminal disorder which attacks the bodys nervous system to an extent where growth stops, swallowing even water becomes difficult and blindness and paralysis set in.
His devoted parents are determined to bring as much happiness into his life as possible and the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation helped with bringing Brodie and his heros together. With Winney the Pooh and Jiminey Cricket being firm favourites we have helped the Johnston family in getting to Disneyland Paris and the smile on little Brodies face was more than worth the effort.
There were a group of six went to see Britain's Got Talent in the Oydssey Arena, Belfast. A great time was had by all.
Todd Vance is an eight year old boy from Dundonald, Belfast. He is a pupil of Brooklands Primary School.
Todd and his family received tickets to go visit Disney Land Paris at christmas. They had a ball. Photos to follow.
Below is a little note that we received from Todd's mum, thanks like this is what makes our hard work so worth while.
"Todd was diagnosed with a brain tumour on Christmas Eve of 2008, but because of the situation with his tumour the neuro surgeons decided to monitor the tumour to see how it developed, so the tumour continued to grow and in Februay 2010 a biopsy was performed and it was then we were given the diagnosis of a malignant tumour which was a big shock to us all as a family. So in March Todd got his central line to receive his treatment of chemotherapy which he will have for the duration of 85 weeks of treatment, which is a long period of time for us all and especiallly Todd as he cannot do a lot of things which we normally take for granted, like swimming and going to the cinema. Todd's bloods remain very low during his treatment so he cant even go to school (not that he minds that) but he does get a tutor for 5 hours a week so he doesn't get away without doing his school work.
We have been given this wonderful opportunity from the Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation to go on a dream trip to Euro Disney, which will indeed cheer Todd up as he is so excited to be going on an aeroplane and to have all the wonderful experiences we will have as a family on this wonderful trip.
So thank you to everyone for making a dream come true.
Love the Vance Family.
Tyler from Ballymena is 11 years of age and is currently in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
He was one of a group of 12 children who we took to the Christmas Panto at the Waterfront.
In 2010 we took a group of 5 kids to see Disney on Ice at the Odyssey Arena. All the usual characters kept us amused an on the edge of our seats.. yet again great time had by all present.
A group of 12 teenagers attended The Michael Jackson Experience in the Waterfront, Belfast.
Two kids went along to the races, they had a fantastic day, with many thanks to the Relentless Tas Suzuki Team, plus William Dunlop and Michael Dunlop.
Sarah Lynas diagnosed at 19 with B-Cell Lymphoma.
This is a letter from Sarah herself:
I was diagnosed just 2 years after my mum Lynne had breast cancer. I was studying psychiatric nursing at Queens and had started to become very tired and I had very bad chest pains. I had gone to my GP about the chest pains and she sent me to A&E for a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed a shadow close to my heart so they admitted me and the next day I got a CT scan, which determined that I had a tumour. The next step was to get a biopsy to determine which type of cancer I had; I had a large medicinal B-Cell Lymphoma. I began my chemotherapy 2 weeks later, so within 3 weeks of going to my doctor I had begun my chemo. I had 6 cycles of chemo, every 2 weeks.
Throughout my treatment I was very positive and having seen my mum beat cancer with such an optimistic approach, I did also.
Through various charities, I have had the opportunity to go to other concerts and trips. These trips and concerts are what have helped me get my life back to normal. I am very grateful for the charities such as The Eilish Degnan Cancer Foundation.
Thank you very much for the Night out with Westlife