Cliona’s Foundation was set up following the death of our daughter, Cliona, from a brain tumour. We hadn’t thought of the Foundation until later when the local communities of Lough Gur, Bruff and Knockainey donated money and supported the making of a CD with music, songs and poetry dedicated to Cliona. That’s how and where it began, in 2007 after 8 years of hospital visits, Doctors and Consultants meetings and endless trips to and overnight stays in hospitals in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Since the Foundation started, it’s raised over €320,000 and helped over 110 families who like ourselves were inundated with non medical expenses from accommodation, parking, food and essentials while in hospital and not even counting taking time off work to be with our child. The Foundation supports families with critically ill children with non-medical expenses and until your family is in this situation, you have no idea of the bills presented. The Foundation was first profiled in the media by Richard Lynch of ‘ilovelimerick.com’, an actor, presenter and socialite from Limerick (www.ilovelimerick.com) who along with Sami Long, Miss United Nations Europe at the time of filming, produced a short documentary on the Foundation. Richard and Sami hightailed it out to rural Lough Gur, 20km from Limerick city where they spent time talking to Brendan and I about Cliona. They spoke to Cliona’s teacher, Carmel in Lough Gur National School and visited Cliona’s grave. Richard and Sami captured the sense of loss we still feel after Cliona’s passing. It was this documentary which made its way onto YouTube that came to the attention of RTE’s Secret Millionaire producers. Limerick was spotlighted for a while last year by the arrival and presence of the Secret Millionaire, Richard Mulcahy (so many Richards!!) but it’s Richard Lynch and ilovelimerick.com crew that we are deeply indebted to, for without his interest in the Foundation in the summer of 2011, it is unlikely we would be where we are today in terms of recognition and awareness. We have a long way to go, but we are on the path to becoming as well known a charity as Jack and Jill or Barnardos. Having spent a week in Limerick filming at the beginning of the summer 2012, Richard Mulcahy Secret Millionaire, returned to Limerick for the Cliona’s Foundation annual social night in Bulgaden held on January 12th , where he was interviewed along with the other organisations spotlighted in the SM programme. The other organisations also profiled on the RTE Documentary have benefitted enormously and they were interviewed by Richard Lynch on the benefit night. Richard Lynch was just brilliant and donned in red trousers, made the night truly memorable for Brendan and I. Thank you Richard and ilovelimerick.com!! You do Limerick proud!!