Press release on behalf of the Gaelic Players Association and Childhood Cancer Foundation
The Gaelic Players Association and Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCF) today (Thursday 22nd June 2017) launched the #Championsofcourage Campaign which will continue to support Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Players, Derek McNicholas (Westmeath), Hugh Paddy O’Byrne (Carlow), Diarmiud O’Keeffe (Wexford), Colm Begley (Laois) and members of the CCF were joined by children and staff of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) on St John’s Haematology/Oncology Ward to launch the Campaign and the specially commissioned Beads of Courage® which up to 50 Inter County players will carry on their kit bags throughout the summer for the Hurling and Football Championships. The players will then gift a bead to a child in treatment as a symbol of their strength and courage. Together they will be Champions of Courage.
Speaking at the launch Derek McNicolas of Westmeath Hurlers said: “As players we are delighted to be part of the #Championsofcourage Campaign to support the work of Childhood Cancer Foundation and most importantly to carry Beads of Courage® throughout the Championship season to honour the courage of children and young adults fighting cancer and their families.”
Dermot Earley, Chief Executive of the GPA added: "We are delighted to offer our continued support to the Childhood Cancer foundation. We are extremely proud of our players who are supporting this campaign and proving their continued contribution to Irish Society and to wonderful causes such as this. Since our foundation the GPA has placed huge importance on supporting our players to be active as social leaders in their communities. Our partnership with the Children Cancer Foundation is part of this commitment and a great example of how so many inter-county players are dedicated to doing their bit to make Ireland a better place."
Rachel Kenna, Director of Nursing at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC) speaking at the launch said: “These specially commissioned Beads of Courage from the Hurling and Football Inter County Players will provide encouragement for children as they cope with their illness. On behalf of all the patients and families we thank the Childhood Cancer Foundation and all the GAA County Players for their ongoing commitment to OLCHC.”
Laura Cullinan of Childhood Cancer Foundation continued to say: “Children with cancer display incredible courage as they endure many difficult procedures and treatments over long periods as they battle childhood cancer. For the brave children of St John’s Ward to know that these players are thinking of them and supporting their fight will encourage them and boost their spirits at difficult times during their treatment journey”.