A group of us from St Michael's BNS are doing Hell and Back on 1st October to raise funds for Cian's Kennels on behalf of our staff member Sarah Pendred and her son Bryan. Bryan suffered from a rare neurological disease, NMDA receptor encephalitis and is doing fantastic in his recovery. Sarah has asked if the funds raised to go to Cian's Kennels who have recently opened their Visitor's Centre next to the Ronald McDonald House at Crumlin Children's Hospital. Below she explains the difference this charity will make to Ireland's sickest children.
During our time in Crumlin Children’s Hospital, as the months went on a daily struggle for us was trying to fill the day with things that mirrored a normal life for Bryan. There is nothing normal about the four walls of a hospital becoming your new home. No child should have to leave their own home and accept a hospital as their new normal. But unfortunately this is the case for so many children. I saw a photo Cian’s Kennels posted the other day of a teenage girl visiting their kennels. We used to see this brave girl and her dad walking the corridors day in day out like ourselves. We’re home almost 6 months now and it breaks my heart to see this girl, like so many others, is still there, fighting an illness while also trying to fight back the feelings of why us, why can’t things just go back to normal and let my child be home in their own bed, eating cereal at our kitchen table? We all often wish for great things in life but if the last few months have thought me anything it is that there is no greater wish to be granted in life than being able to tuck your child into their own bed at night, a room free of monitors, tubes, carers and nurses needing to do hourly checks. My wish has been granted and although we still have a bit to go, some days are hard, they are nothing compared to the days spent trapped in those four walls in search of some glimpses of a normal childhood for my baby.
The Ronald Mc Donald House was a godsend for us. We don’t know how we would have gotten through our time in Crumlin without them. When Bryan got strong enough we were able to bring him to the Ronald Mc Donald house and that gave one other thing to add to his daily routine. However, after seeing where Cian’s Kennels have just recently opened their doors, a few metres from the Ronald Mc Donald door I can’t tell you how much this opens a whole new dimension of normal for the sick children and their families up there! If Bryan had been able to have his dogs Rosie and Benji up with us it would have brought untold joy, peace and distraction from the daily battles he had to endure. I cannot put into words how much of a game changer Cian’s Kennels opening is for all the families finding themselves in the position in which they have to leave their old lives behind and try to adapt to a hospital setting being the new home for their sick child and family. If you could spare anything at all to show your support for this wonderful family who themselves went through this unnatural adjustment and unfortunately their beloved baby was not as lucky as mine. But instead of dwelling in darkness they’ve gotten up and are going to make an unbelievable difference for countless families who find themselves going through what no child, parent or family should ever have to go through. It is all done in honour of their hero Cian who although may be gone is, due to his family’s strength, love, determination and drive, going to be by the side and help ease the pain of so many children fighting battles no child should ever have to. If you could spare a few € to get behind this family’s amazing efforts and support them in helping Crumlin’s sick children and their families, we would be extremely grateful.