There is a lot of talk about the x factor always getting the Christmas top spot. However here in Ireland there is a challenger.
This is a charity single for a cause very close to my heart.
It is for Aoibheanns pink tie charity, and the money is for St Johns Ward in Crumlin Childrens Hospital, Ireland. Just click on the Aoibheann link for more information.
Let me just explain those words “St Johns Ward”.
In Ireland every year approximately 140 children are diagnosed with cancer. They all end up in St Johns Ward in Crumlin.
This time last year my own friend was told her son had leukemia.
Having barely taken in the news, her young thirteen year old son was brought in and as he sat beside his mom and Dad he was told, without frills, that he had cancer.
He was told that the next day he would go to Dublin and have an operation to put in a line for his medicine to go in.
He was told his hair would fall out and he would be sick.
He was told he might die.
The next day, heads spinning, they headed to St Johns Ward.
Many have described that moment you first enter the hospital and walk hand in hand with your child down the long corridor to St Johns Ward.
It is barely imaginable what must be felt by parents, as they see so many children, all with cancer. Now they must accept their child is one of them. Life as they knew it is over forever.
I remember my friend telling me it was hell.
As her son was taken away to theatre she did her best not to look at the other children around her.
Despite her best efforts she could not avoid seeing them, and the fact that the majority had no hair.
Her own young son had a head of blonde hair, but for how long?
You would think that as this is the centre of excellence for children’s cancer in Ireland that it would have the best of everything.
You would be wrong.
On that first visit there was no private bathroom for my young friend. He had to share with others who were only babies of two and three. There was no privacy.
There were three bathrooms across the hall for nineteen patients.
Due to Chemotherapy the majority could not make it as far as the bathroom on time. There was no dignity for these young children. A situation which was worse again if you were older.
Happily just before his transplant a new section of St Johns was opened. It meant he had a private room and an ensuite. This and ICU were his home for twenty weeks. He did not have to share a TV with a two year old. He had his own space as did his parents.
This unit was 100% funded by private donations.
Imagine that. 100% came from people giving money to Crumlin Hospital, not our government.
It was grateful parents, relatives and friends of those who had survived, and those who sadly had not, who all wanted to make life better for those who had yet to travel this road.
So tonight I am giving a shout out to those reading this who live in Ireland, to please consider buying this single.
You will be helping a great cause and as a secondary benefit maybe even preventing X factor reaching number 1!
Those of you reading who are not from Ireland, thanks for reading. I’ll keep you posted on how well the song does.