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Books that belong to the late Labhaoise Fitzgerald have been included in 'care bags' for children going through cancer. Photograph by John Kelly.

Labhaoise legacy brings benefits to children with cancer


BOOKS that belonged to a Tulla teenager who was a tireless advocate for others with cancer, have been donated to charity as part of her legacy. 

Labhaoise Fitzgerald passed away in January of 2021, after a seven-year battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Even in the later stages of her illness, she had been an active member of Barretstown Youth Leaders’ Council, advocating for others affected by cancer. 

Since her untimely passing, Labhaoise’s friends have also been involved in fundraising in her honour. In recent times, Labhaoise’s family donated around 100 of her books to the Let’s Fund It organisation, which supports the Irish charity sector.

These books will be given to children receiving support from the charity Hand in Hand, and will be included in the hospital care bags donated by Lets Fund It. It was Labhaoises wish that other children would get to read them and share in the joy and happiness that the books brought to her.

Fifty hospital care bags have been specially put together to support children facing a hospital stay. They contain essential items that will support children throughout their treatment and time in hospital. The hospital care bags will also provide comfort through play therapy and creativity. Hand in Hands accredited play therapists selected specialist toys to be included in the bags. Each bag will focus on the development of the childrens emotional literacy and mental health. The contents of each hospital care bag will be varied on the childs age and circumstances.

Lets Fund It purchased the 50 bags as well as the contents which includes a handheld fan, travel

pillow, toothbrush holder, mini-torch, ear plugs, hot/cold pack, colouring book and colouring pencils.

The project also received support from several businesses. Kilkenny toy business, McTivities, donated a selection of fun toys to be added to the hospital care bags. Items included Touchable Bubbles, Creebler and Swirly Squish Balls. These toys play an important to help the children relax and have fun after treatment.

Evergreen Healthfoods donated Ginger Gins Gins candies that will support children that are suffering from car sickness while Little Green donated a range of hypoallergenic shampoos. Lets Fund also expressed their gratitude for the support received by the staff at Flying Tiger in Limerick.

Lets Fund It hope that the hospital care bags donated to Hand in Hand will bring both comfort and support to each child undergoing treatment for cancer. Let’s Fund It said the hospital care bags epitomise the its mission to support Irish charity service users in a real and impactful way. 

Lets Fund Its aim is to be fully transparent on how donations are spent and distributed to each charity. Each donation is posted on social media and on the Lets Fund It website.

Lets Fund It was founded by a group of friends from Limerick. The inspiration for the charity came

from a desire to help Irish charities and charity service-users in a practical and transparent way. In 2019, the group of friends began putting a portion of their monthly income into a bank account and allowing it to build up. As the funds accumulated, Lets Fund It would reach out to charities to see how they could help. As word of their charitable efforts grew, the group started receiving donations. This encouraged them to apply for charity status and as of May 2021, Lets Fund. It is now a fully registered charity.

The new charity has launched their own website (Letsfundit.ie) and social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

This was a very special donation for Lets Fund It. The hospital care bags will hopefully support each child going through treatment in hospital. This is our way helping them and showing our support for them through this difficult time,” said Chairperson Stephen Ryan-Doyle.

Wed like to thank Hand in Hand for their support throughout the process of organising these hospital care bags. Wed also like to extend our thanks to the parents of Labhaoise Fitzgerald and the businesses that contributed to this donation. When we work together we can make better donations together”

Secretary David Walsh added that: Having seen the fantastic work Hand in Hand does with children and their families it was an absolute pleasure to support them in their work. This donation is our largest to-date, and we are honoured to support Hand in Hand. We hope that the hospital care packs will be greatly received by all”.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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