A complete revamp of the children’s ward at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe is set to get underway in the coming weeks and months, thanks to the fundraising efforts of four women who were united by a common struggle – a cancer diagnosis for their child.
Lisa Kelly of Birr, Co. Offaly, and three Roscommon women – Sarah Sweeney-Harney of Drum, Priscilla Egan of Dysart and Marian Dolan of Roscommon town – set up ‘Funds for St. Therese’s Ward’ and last Monday they conducted a raffle draw at Glendeer Pet Farm that saw nearly 60 prizes given out in front of over 100 attendees, including hordes of young children who were delighted to take advantage of the party taking place and all the attractions outside.
The group started out with a target of raising €10,000 but they’ve been inundated with support and consequently over €29,000 has been raised so far, with more set to come in when a number of valuable items are auctioned online.
Planned projects include a complete repainting of the ward, renovation of the two isolation units, a full overhaul of the playroom for children and more, all in addition to the recent installation of a Fairy Garden at the front of the hospital.
Tommy Kelly, Conor Egan and Evan Dolan all lost their battles with cancer over the past year, but 2-year-old Alora Hanley was in attendance, despite the fact that she continues to undergo treatment.
“Two years ago we started on a journey that would see us visit Crumlin Hospital and St. Therese’s Ward on a regular basis, and while the staff are just wonderful, it was clear that there was an opportunity for so much to be done with the ward, and we’re incredibly grateful for the support we received,” said her mother Sarah on Monday.