BY EBHAN LOUGLIN
Significant buildings from across the Galway cityscape will be turned gold to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer.
The Browne Doorway on Eyre Square, The Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum, the Meyrick Hotel and The g Hotel will all glow gold from Saturday September 6 for one week to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and gold is its official colour. Galway will be joined by several international campaigns that will see hundreds of significant buildings glow gold, including Times Square, Niagara Falls, and The Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center ).
Closer to home The Convention Centre in Dublin, the Millmount in Drogheda, Belfast City Hall, and Dunbrody Famine Ship will be some of the hundreds of buildings ‘lighting up gold’.
The gold campaign was launched in the USA by Tony Stoddard whose son Cole passed away from neuroblastoma in 2012. This particular form of childhood cancer is very close to the hearts of the people of Galway as two local girls Grace Kenneally and Lily-Mae Morrison have neuroblastoma.
More than 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland, which equates to four families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister, or grandchild has cancer.
Shockingly, childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease of children in Ireland; on average 34 children die from this disease each year. One in five children diagnosed with cancer will die within five years and many childhood cancers have much lower survival rates and are in desperate need of progress.
On Saturday September 6, Galway will host a candle lit vigil walk to honour these children.
The event begins at Eyre Square at 6.30pm where Mayor Donal Lyons will launch the walk from Eyre Square to Spanish Arch.
There will be performances by The Athenry Youth Choir and Youth Ballet West, as well as face-painting and street entertainment. Most people’s lives have been touched by cancer and though it is rarely their children, the public’s support of families with children with cancer is extremely helpful and always welcomed.
The people at Childhood Cancer Foundation are committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes among health professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer, and assisting to fund vital services for children and families affected by the disease.