Cliona’s Foundation Mission
To provide financial assistance for critically ill children.
Cliona’s Foundation is a registered charity set up by Brendan and Terry Ring, following the death of their daughter Cliona, from a brain tumour. Over the years, as Cliona underwent numerous different hospital treatments, Brendan and Terry were struck by the number of families, facing enormous financial hardship, on the brink of financial free-fall, blindsided by non-medical expenses piling up. They saw at first-hand the enormous toll it took on these families, already struggling to cope with the nightmare of having a seriously ill child. They decided to take action and set up Cliona’s Foundation, in honour of their daughter. Since its launch in 2006, Cliona’s Foundation has raised in excess of €350,000 and has helped more than 150 families across Ireland. It is Brendan and Terry’s intimate understanding of the stress brought upon these families that explains the diversity of expenses covered by Cliona’s Foundation. The ordeal of a child’s grave illness or injury tests families far beyond their endurance, taking an enormous toll emotionally, physically and financially. Cliona’s Foundation wants to help these families to cope and soften their heartbreaking journey, providing financial support, when all other resources have been exhausted. Cliona’s Foundation believes that no family should have to face any added financial stress, when already struggling with the devastation and trauma of a seriously ill child.
What makes Cliona’s Foundation unique?
Cliona’s Foundation provides financial assistance to families with critically ill children for specifically non medical expenses, from rent, food, utility bills to transportation for chemotherapy or alternative therapies, to a treat for a sibling and even covering the cost of a child’s funeral. The list is infinite. While challenges are not unusual amongst the charity sector in Ireland, there is no state support for families with non-medical expenses and this has created a very large void particularly given the state of the Irish economy, which is why Cliona’s Foundation presents a very compelling story of support from Irish donors.
No other charity in Ireland offers financial support for non-medical costs which can amount to significant sums.
Stars, Choirs and Carols and Cliona’s Foundation
Fundraising can be difficult and more so when there is less disposable income in the economy. But despite tough economic times, Irish people continue to be among the most generous in the world. Let’s start at home and look after those most vulnerable and closest to us, our families.
Stars, Choirs and Carols is a festival of songs, a Guinness record attempt and a fundraiser. Organised jointly with The Sanctuary charity, this is a unique event which will see a host of stars on stage in Croke Park, Dublin on December 19th. The monies raised will go towards providing financial assistance to families with critically ill children, families struggling to keep their lives intact as they try to cope with all that goes with having a seriously ill child.
What is Cliona’s Foundation hoping to achieve?
At any one point, there are 1400 seriously ill children in Ireland with an additional 400 new seriously ill children diagnosed each year. Cliona’s Foundation is hoping to support 160 (who we expect to meet the Foundations’ criteria) of these families over the next 12 months. This will require funding of at least €320,000. While the Foundation cannot cure a child, we want to help them cope and soften their heartbreaking journey, by uniquely providing financial assistance to families, who have exhausted all other resources.
How you can help
By entering your choir in this unique event on December 19th, you can be part of a Guinness Record attempt ‘to have the most carol singers singing together’ and help fundraise for families with critically ill children. There are two ways to enter – pay €1000 and for which your choir will receive 100 tickets which you can sell or if your choir is small, log onto www.tickets.ie and buy your tickets online for €15 per ticket.
Like many charities, Cliona’s Foundation is at a crossroads. With depleted funding, an ever increasing number of requests from families for assistance and as awareness of the Foundation has grown, it now faces the distinct possibility of demise, unless new sources of funding are secured. The RTE documentary series ‘The Secret Millionaire’, aired on RTE on Mon Sept 24th and again in May 2013, highlighted the work of the Foundation. While this presents an important publicity opportunity, it will also inevitably bring about a new wave of requests from new families looking for support. Unless funding is secured Cliona’s Foundation may have to turn down families for the first time since its inception. We ask you to become involved in this unique Stars, Choirs and Carols event on December 19th 7 – 9pm.