by Alan Jacques
LIMERICK pantomime star Leanne Moore is urging local schools to raise €200 each to support Cliona’s Foundation in assisting struggling families with the non-medical costs associated with looking after a critically or terminally ill child.
The Limerick-based charity provides financial support to families of critically ill children and this Lent it is focused on helping families who do not know how they are going to afford their child’s medical treatment.
Funding provided to families is not to be used to pay for medical care and instead helps to tackle “hidden” costs, including accommodation, food, petrol and other miscellaneous expenses incurred by families who must take sick children to hospitals or other medical facilities for frequent treatments.
Costs can quickly mount for families with it costing up to €200 a day to bring a sick child for treatment in Dublin from Limerick. Often families have to take their children to hospital on a regular basis and these costs quickly rise.
Leanne Moore,who is an ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation, said she was happy to get involved with the charity’s Lenten campaign.
“I’ve been very lucky in life and now would like to give something back to help others,” she explained.
“I really hope that the schools will come together to help, €200 a day quickly adds up and can be crippling to families,” she said.
A single mother who lives quite a distance from a hospital, said she often cannot afford to get the train to see her daughter Sarah when she is in long-term care.
“I found myself blindsided by all these unexpected bills and fees and had to carry on with my job in order to afford them. The balance between the emotional stress of Sarah’s illness and the financial stress caused by it is often unbearable,” she revealed.
Brendan Ring of Cliona’s Foundation pointed out that there are hundreds of families in Ireland in a similar situation and they need help.
“When a family has a sick child they should not have to struggle under the additional stress of worrying whether or not they can pay their bills,” he insists.
For more details on the schools Lenten campaign log onto www.clionasfoundation.ie.