Cancer survivor Dean Hall from Oregon in the Unites States, plans to be the first person in history to swim the entire length of the River Shannon. No stranger to long distance swimming, Dean became the first person to swim 184 miles of the Willamette River in his home state in 2014. His message is one of healing and hope. Hall will also be raising awareness of Childhood Cancer and hopes to raise funds for Childhood Cancer Foundation during this 20-stage swim which starts the 5th June on the northern shore of Lough Allen and will hopefully finish on July 7th at Bishops Quay in Limerick. Hall will be swimming, what is considered by Ironman triathletes as 2-3 marathon distances a day to complete this 150-mile swim. At age 57, he believes that cancer recovery and life are much like marathon swimming. “They are only restricted by the limitations we impose upon them”.
To follow Dean Hall’s journey on the River Shannon his blog can be found at “Swimming In Miracles” on Facebook or at his website- www.swimminginmiracles.com.
Maura Toner of Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCF) says that the charity is very thankful to Dean for choosing to dedicate this incredible endurance swim to raising awareness of childhood cancer. Maura says “Childhood Cancer Foundation has been working hard over the last 4-5 years to help to improve the supports and services for children and their families who are living with cancer in Ireland. Thanks to the generous support of people like Dean, we are funding three projects on St John’s Paediatric Cancer Ward in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. These include, Play Services on St John’s paediatric cancer day unit, a medical research project in conjunction with UCD School of Nursing which investigates the benefits of complementary therapies for children in active treatment for cancer and Beads of Courage® which is an internationally recognised innovative arts in medicine supportive care programme in use in over 240 paediatric cancer hospitals in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other countries which is designed to help children to understand and cope with their cancer diagnosis.
Dean will carry especially commissioned Beads of Courage® on each stage of his River Shannon swim. Sharing his strength and courage, these beads will be gifted by Dean to children who face particularly difficult challenges during treatment.
In January 2017, we started working on a Shared Care Hospital Project which aims to improve facilities and supports for children with cancer while hospitalised in isolation rooms in the country’s 16 shared care hospitals.
Maura adds “Our primary goal is to raise awareness of childhood cancer. Increased awareness will result in more funding to improve services for all children with cancer, their families and caregivers. We run the Light It Up Gold Campaign each September which sees important buildings and landmarks around Ireland light up gold as part of an international awareness campaign. We also advocated for children in the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2025 which will be published on 5th July.
Further queries about Dean Hall contact:-
Email: – email@example.com
Phone: – 001 503 4323314
Website: – www.swimminginmiracles.com
Facebook: – www.facebook.com/Swimming-In-Miracles
If you would like to support Dean’s challenge please visit www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11365475_dean-hall-s-fundraising-page.html to make a donation
Further queries about Childhood Cancer Foundation or information within this press release please contact;
If you would like to donate please visit www.childhoodcancer.ie or text GOLD to 50300 to donate €4 to Childhood Cancer Foundation. Texts cost €4. Childhood Cancer Foundation will receive a minimum of €3.25 Service Provider Like Charity Helpline
For more information on the work of Childhood Cancer Foundation please visit our website, www.childhoodcancer.ie
and our Facebook page which we operate under www.facebook.com/lightitupgold
Information on Beads of Courage®
Designed and developed in the US, Beads of Courage Programme is a resilience-based arts in medicine intervention programme designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the programme, children tell their story using colourful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. Since 2004 Beads of Courage Programmes have been introduced in over 240 children’s hospitals in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Working with Be Child Cancer Aware (UK) and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Childhood Cancer Foundation funded the introduction of the Programme to St John’s Paediatric cancer Ward in January 2016. Since then, almost 200 children have been enrolled and receive Beads of Courage.
More information on the Programme:
Upon enrollment, each child is given the Beads of Courage bead colour guide with a detachable membership card. Their Beads of Courage journey begins when each child is first given a length of string and beads that spell out their first name. Then, colourful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child by their professional health care provider to add to their Beads of Courage collection throughout their treatment as determined by the Beads of Courage Bead Guide.
All programme bead guides were developed in collaboration with experts in the field (nurses, doctors, child life specialists and social workers) so that each bead guide would reflect meaningful acknowledgment of a child’s treatment journey.
Major Benefits of Beads of Courage
Ongoing evaluation of the Beads of Courage programme indicates that it helps to decrease illness-related distress, increase the use of positive coping strategies, helps children find meaning in illness, and restore sense of self in children coping with serious illness. The programme also provides something tangible the child can use to tell about their experience during treatment and after.