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Childhood Cancer Foundation starts up #Obstacles4Play campaign to raise funds

Childhood Cancer Foundation have created a new fun challenge for those isolating at home to keep spirits up and keep children active.

Childhood Cancer Foundation starts up #Obstacles4Play campaign to raise funds

A national children’s cancer charity, Childhood Cancer Foundation, is appealing to families to create and complete obstacle courses at home to help raise money for vital play services for children with cancer in Ireland. 

Founded in 2013 by parents of children with cancer to raise awareness of childhood cancer, the foundation funds emotional supports and services for children with cancer and their families and to be the voice of children with cancer in Ireland.



Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland supports play services at The National Childhood Cancer Service at CHI at Crumlin, where all children with cancer from around the country receive treatment.

Childhood Cancer Foundation

Childhood Cancer Foundation is challenging families at home with their #Obstacles4Play campaign.

Families living with childhood cancer are all too familiar with the isolation that the wider world is facing at the moment. A diagnosis of childhood cancer stops life in its tracks for the whole family.

COVID-19 has plunged us all into an unfamiliar and unsettling world of isolation and separation from family and friends and it is understandably difficult. Unfortunately, this is the reality for families of children with cancer all of the time, and sometimes for years during treatment, due to the serious risk of infection.

Laura Cullinan, a voluntary Director with Childhood Cancer Foundation and a parent of a child who has survived childhood cancer, said that children looking to pass the time without school and activities can help kids with cancer to overcome the obstacles they face.

Laura continued by saying, “The work of the play specialist on St. John’s Ward in so important helping children cope with their diagnosis and treatment. They help ease the burden on families at a very difficult time. We raise funds on an ongoing basis for this service and, like all other charities, we are struggling without income from our planned fundraising activities.”

“We are asking children at home to make a fun obstacle course in their garden or sitting rooms and for families to make a €4 donation to help us continue this vital service. It’s a great way to entertain children at home and to show them that their own obstacle courses can help children with cancer overcome their obstacles. While the world has stopped for the time being, cancer has not,” Laura said.

Play therapy is a vital service that supports the medical team, by role-playing the procedures a child will have to go through, demonstrating them using adapted dolls and simulating an MRI so the children are familiar with the noise and shape of the machine. Having access to play therapy reduces distress and helps the children develop the positive coping strategies they will need to get through during up to three years of treatment, and sometimes more.

As well as funding Children’s Cancer Play Services, the organisation also funds Beads of Courage®, a programme which is run by the Play Specialist and provides children with colourful beads to mark each stage of their treatment journey, as well as special courage beads, giving them something tangible to tell their story.

Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland is also in the middle of a programme to refurbish isolation rooms in 16 Shared Care facilities in regional hospitals around the country, which children with cancer may be treated through Children’s Health Ireland National Oncology Service. They fund equipment including wall-mounted cardiac monitors and thermometers, electric beds, life-flat day beds for parents, TVs, DVD players, gaming devices and vinyl wall art to brighten up the isolation rooms.

You can support the #Obstacles4Play campaign by uploading a video of your obstacle course on Instagram or Facebook and by clicking the donate button to give €4 to Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland.

Follow the campaign on Instagram or Facebook @childhoodcancerire

  • Childhood Cancer Foundation was founded in 2013 by parents of children with cancer to raise awareness of childhood cancer, fund emotional supports and services for children with cancer and their families and to be the voice of children with cancer in Ireland. The charity does not receive any Government funding.
  • On average 218 children (aged 0 – 19 years) are diagnosed with cancer every year. 
  • CHI at Crumlin has a team of Play Specialists who work throughout the hospital. Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland fully funds the dedicated Play Specialist for St. John’s Day Ward. 
  • The average length of treatment for childhood cancer is 3-5 years.
  • Play Specialists use play to help psychologically prepare children with cancer for the hospital procedures they will endure as part of their treatment. These treatments may be painful and frightening for children and families. Working with the child at their developmental stage, play helps them to work through difficult situations.

For more information on Childhood Cancer Foundation, click here.

For more stories on charities, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.