Dromara Vintage Club to go the extra mile to help children’s charity at annual road run

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An incredible charity which provides vital financial and emotional assistance to the families of children suffering from cancer will be supported next month by the Dromara Vintage and Vehicle Club.

Angel Wishes which was founded in 2016 by a lady who tragically lost both her three year old daughter Helen and son Brian (10) to cancer related conditions will benefit from an all-vehicle Road Run being staged by the Club on Saturday June 8.

The lady in question seeks no personal publicity or credit insisting that Angel Wishes is "purely and totally" about children with cancer and their families.

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Brian McGrillen, President of the Dromara Club, said the fund raising event would start from a field opposite St Michael's Church in the village with registration beginning at 12noon and the convoy leaving the assembly field at 2pm.

Seven year old Aine Fegan tries out the driving seat of a 1942 Fordson tractor as Dromara Vintage and Classic Club prepare for their June all-vehicle road run in aid of charity. Pictured from left are Club members Brian McGrillen (President), Griff Morrow, John Fitzpatrick, George McNeill, Peter McGrady, Stan Gratton, Stephen McCann, David Thompson and James Fegan. Pic credit: Dromara Vintage ClubSeven year old Aine Fegan tries out the driving seat of a 1942 Fordson tractor as Dromara Vintage and Classic Club prepare for their June all-vehicle road run in aid of charity. Pictured from left are Club members Brian McGrillen (President), Griff Morrow, John Fitzpatrick, George McNeill, Peter McGrady, Stan Gratton, Stephen McCann, David Thompson and James Fegan. Pic credit: Dromara Vintage Club
Seven year old Aine Fegan tries out the driving seat of a 1942 Fordson tractor as Dromara Vintage and Classic Club prepare for their June all-vehicle road run in aid of charity. Pictured from left are Club members Brian McGrillen (President), Griff Morrow, John Fitzpatrick, George McNeill, Peter McGrady, Stan Gratton, Stephen McCann, David Thompson and James Fegan. Pic credit: Dromara Vintage Club

"It's unbelievable what this charity Angel Wishes does and I hope we will be able to raise a substantial amount of money for what is a very worthy cause," Mr McGrillen said.

"George McNeil, one of our members, heard about Angel Wishes and brought it to our attention. We were all so moved and impressed by what it does that it was an easy decision to give it our wholehearted support."

Mr McGrillen explained how the charity had a house at Ballintoy where sick children and their parents could use for respite purposes but also helped families financially.

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"Angel Wishes send all our newly diagnosed families £1,500 to help relieve some of the financial pressures they find themselves in. If a child has to go across the water to go through potentially life saving bone marrow transplant Angel Wishes donates £500 to every sibling in the household," the charity said in a statement.

This payment, the charity explained, is to help the siblings overcome separation anxiety as they are left at home often with family friends for up to six months and possibly even more.

The charity will even go as far as to organise flights to Britain for the siblings which also helps alleviate the stress of living without their parents.

For the children suffering from cancer Angel Wishes will arrange private cinema visits, outings to a bowling alley or even shopping trips when they are unable to mix with other people because of the risk of infection.

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"The list is endless and means so much to our children and their parents to have a little taste of normality without the added risks. Angel Wishes will bring as much normality back to the family as possible," the charity statement said.

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High tech is also recruited to help the charity provide for the children with an AV1 Isolation educational robot placed in the classroom to represent the child and linked to an iPad donated to the pupil by Angel Wings.

Sadly not every patient will respond to medical attention and will require palliative care.

"At this stage Angel Wishes will endeavour to give our families as many wonderful memories as possible - it may be days out together, private family photo shoots, anything the family would like at this stage of treatment we will endeavour to provide," the statement added.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers and all proceeds raised go directly to supporting the affected families.