Vital Complementary Therapy / Respite
Machines and technology are vital to care and recovery. But at milestone moments the needs of a seriously-ill and distressed child can only be met with personal attention, care and even a little bit of pampering.
Complementary therapies and strategies play a vital role here. Therapies like meditation, relaxation, aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage will be offered on site at the hospital. This all costs and it’s hard to find the budget that lists these vital ‘treatments’.
The Julie Wren Complementary Therapy room at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Haematology & Oncology Centre, St. John's Ward was officially opened in December 2011 by RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan. The therapy room is the only one of its kind in Ireland. The main aim is to ease some of the pain , anxiety , stress, nausea and suffering of children with cancer and their parents.
A skilled Complementary therapist , who is also a specialist paediatric oncology children’s nurse and who has years of experience in treating children with cancer will provide the new service. Parents can also avail of these therapies for much needed time to themselves, if there are spaces available.
Speaking at the opening, Assistant Director of Nursing, Dympna Cawley said: “this service will mean a great deal to our patients. The therapy room is an oasis of calm and will be extremely well used."
The service has been made possible through the generosity of the Julie Wren Childrens Cancer Support Centre and the Children’s Medical & Research Foundation at the hospital.
The Julie Wren Childrens Cancer Support Centre has also provided funding for the complementary therapist for 3 days a week until 2016. More funding is needed, not alone to continue this valuable service but to increase availability for more patients and their families to benefit from its great work.
( Complementary Therapies are best described as therapies that can be used with conventional medicine.
“They are used to promote well being and to manage symptoms related to cancer treatment. It is important to note that our Complementary Therapy Service is used in conjunction with our conventional forms of treatment which treat and cure cancer.)
Annual Remembrance Day
Grieving can be one of life’s most difficult and overwhelming challenges. The Julie Wren Childrens Cancer Support Centre supports Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin’s Annual Remembrance Day, a day for families to remember all the children that have died and to give them an opportunity to remember their loved ones.
The centre funds vital palliative care for the children who, like Julie, will unfortunately lose their struggle against cancer. Many families wish to care for their children at home because they feel secure there and are better able to control their daily routine. It also increases the opportunity for the parents, siblings, friends and family of the child to assist with their care.
The Julie Wren Childrens Cancer Support Centre funds a grant that will assist financially to ensure that a child’s comfort and dignity is an absolute priority at this time of great turmoil.
This care is vital in making their short life - in hospital and at home - as comfortable, happy and as full and fulfilling as possible. It empowers parents and children and they can feel more in control of their illness.