Limerick family highlight cost of caring for sick children

David Crowe (centre) with Cliona's Foundation chief executive Brendan Ring and ambassador Joy Neville at the launch of 'Ireland's Forgotten Families'.

A LIMERICK family is to feature on a hard-hitting Virgin Media documentary this Thursday, April 21 at 9pm which seeks to highlight the financial hardships of families caring for children with serious illnesses.

The two-part documentary series, ‘Ireland’s Forgotten Families’, will share the personal stories of four families who have received financial help from Limerick-based charity Cliona’s Foundation.

Each of these families experienced, and continue to experience, the significant non-medical costs of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition.

The Crowe family from Kilfinane sadly lost their daughter Sarah, who passed away after a brave battle with Alpers (Mitochondrial disease) in 2016 aged just 12 years old.

However difficult the illness was for Sarah and those who loved her, her family are keen for people to know that she lived a life filled with love and laughter.

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Sarah’s father Dave Crowe said: “We were very happy to be one of the families featured in the documentary. As a result of our journey with our wonderful daughter Sarah, we know firsthand just how much the help Cliona’s gives to families really means to them, that someone out there is thinking of us and wants to help, means the world”.

Cliona’s Foundation CEO Brendan Ring revealed that the current spiralling cost of living has led to a 30 per cent increase in families with sick children asking for financial help.                                         

The charity provides financial support for families who are caring for a child with a life-limiting illness, and was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring following the death of their daughter Cliona (15) from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006.

It has provided financial support to over 1,000 families across the island of Ireland, with 103 of those families living in Limerick.

Cliona’s Foundation expects at least 200 families will apply for financial assistance this year and will need to raise a minimum of €500,000 to meet these applications. To learn more, or to make a donation, visit