The courage and bravery of a 12 year old Donegal boy, Ciaran Collins, from Ballyliffin, was recognised nationally on Saturday night at a gala function hosted by RTÉ tv and radio presenters Miriam O’Callaghan and Will Leahy.
Ciaran, who suffers from Meningococcal Meningitis & Septicaemia, was one of just eight of what were described as “the bravest children” in Ireland were honoured at the hare a Dream National Children of Courage Awards at their Gala Dream Ball in Limerick.
Ciaran’s mum Sharon and Dad Cornelius (known as Foster) were among the many hugley proud families at the event.
The eight recipients were selected from many deserving nominations throughout Ireland, all of whom are facing daily battles against serious illness or disability.
Ciaran’s illness was diagnosed when he was two years old and his mum Sharon recalled: “Our Ciaran was two years old when our worst fears were realised and he fell ill with suspected Meningitis. Ciaran was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis and Septicaemia, complicated by multi-organ dysfunction and renal failure.”
The event, was attended by 350 guests, was a truly magical night where dreams came true for all the children.
“All these children were nominated from all over Ireland by parents, doctors, nurses, relatives etc who all write to us detailing the daily trauma, loneliness and fear, which is part of having your child diagnosed with a terrible illness or disability. It is truly heartbreaking to witness the hardship these families and children experience,” said Shay Kinsella, Founder.
“However, it is also very humbling to see just how brave these children are despite their lives. This is why it is so important to recognise the sick and disabled children of Ireland, through our National Children of Courage Awards.”
At the end of the night a very special surprise was in store for the all eight children when Captain Courage arrived on stage and presented Miriam and Will with a very urgent message to tell all the children that they and their families were invited to Disneyland for a Dream trip.
Share a Dream is now in its 22nd year making a difference in children’s lives by bringing smiles and happy memories to over 22,000 very sick and disabled children all over this country.
The organisation works with children’s charities all over Ireland and doesn’t receive any State funding whatsoever relying solely on the generosity of the community.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world knowing you created a smile and brought a little bit of magic something special into the lives of very sick and disabled children by making their fondest wish come true”, said Founder Shay Kinsella.
Also honoured on the night was five year old Aoibh Cutliffe from Derry. Aoibh’s mum Brid explained: “Aoibh was brought into the world with the prognosis of hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, damaged eyesight and limited vision from missing brain parts caused by a possible stroke in the womb. On the 2nd day of her life she set off for her first operation on her head, to relieve some pressure in her brain”, according to her mum Brid.
For further information Share a Dream can be contacted at 061-200080/200083, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.shareadream.ie