Spirit of Christmas Appeal

Belfast children help Cancer Focus NI raise cash for Cancer Focus NI's family support service.There is still time to donate to our Cancer Focus NI Spirit of Christmas appeal which raises funds and awareness of our Family Support Service – a vital lifeline for children whose mum, dad or grandparent has cancer.


Family support is one of our most used services but we can only provide this essential care thanks to you, so please help the children who are left without a parent.


If you would like to make a gift to the Cancer Focus NI Spirit of Christmas Appeal just donate online here, Text ‘STAR33 £5’ to 70070 or call Cancer Focus NI on 028 9068 0745. The appeal is open until the end of December 2018.


Nine-year-old twins Amy and Liam Murray lost their dad Liam (31), who had a brain tumour, in 2010. The twins and their mum Bernie used our Family Support Service.


Amy says: Our daddy died when we were three.  Although we were little, Rachel from Cancer Focus NI helped us understand what was happening.


Liam says: At the family support group we talk about daddy and meet other kids like us!

With dad

With dad


Mum Bernie adds: “Even though Liam was very sick I didn’t really think he would die, I thought he would get better, he always had every other time, and it was very difficult for everyone to accept. He got really sick on Christmas Day and went to the hospice a couple of days later where he died.


“Rachel at Cancer Focus NI helped us prepare what we were going to tell the kids. She helped Liam put together messages that the children will be able to read when they are older along with mementos for them to keep.


“She advised us about what stories we could read to them to help them understand, to prepare them for what was coming.


The Muray family help raise cash for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland family support service“Afterwards Rachel came to the house and helped Amy and Liam through play, explaining and answering their questions in a way three year olds would understand.”


The twins also joined the Cancer Focus NI family support group.

“They were able to meet other children in the same situation and it helped them realise they were not the only ones going through such a sad time.


“They have so much fun at the group and can forget for a while – they learn that it is still all right to have fun,” Bernie explained.


“I was able to talk to other parents who’d lost a partner and I got bereavement counselling with Cancer Focus NI which really helps too. I wasn’t talking to anyone at home so having someone outside the family helped me to open up and express all that emotion. It was so helpful.amy-and-liam-without-christmas-copy


“I’d encourage everyone to help support this wonderful service and anyone affected by cancer should definitely give Cancer Focus NI a call or look up their website – there is so much free support available and the staff are warm and friendly. It’s a real lifeline.”



If you would like to make a gift to the Cancer Focus NI Spirit of Christmas Appeal just Text ‘STAR33 £5’ to 70070 or call Cancer Focus NI on 028 9068 0745.