AN Omagh child care facility is holding a sponsored walk this weekend to help a staff member whose young daughter is being treated for cancer.
Little Bailey Maguire, pictured above with mum Megan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in July this year.
It is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells. It progresses rapidly and requires immediate treatment.
The bubbly six-year-old, a P3 pupil at St Paul’s Primary School in Irvinestown, will be in and out of hospital in Belfast over the next two years.
Bailey’s mum, Megan, admitted that her daughter faces “quite the long haul”.
She added, “There’s no quick fix with leukaemia.”
For the past five years, Megan has worked at the Tamlaght Road site of Omagh’s Cornabracken Child Care and has developed strong bonds with the children, families and other staff there.
In order to help Megan, her husband Niall, Bailey and their five other children through a very difficult and turbulent time, management and staff at Cornabracken will be taking part in a sponsored walk around Omagh this Saturday, which will be followed by a fundraising coffee morning at the Tamlaght Road site.
Owner, Melanie O’Kane, said, “As a team, we were completely devastated when we heard of the news of little Bailey. Megan is a valued member of our team and the staff really wanted to play their part in helping Megan and her family during Bailey’s illness.”
She added, “We would like to extend a warm welcome to all to come and join us at Cornabracken Child Care this Saturday for our coffee morning in aid of little Bailey.”
Speaking to the UH this week, Megan said that her daughter’s diagnosis earlier this year had come as a “real shock” to the family.
Bailey then had to spend a full month at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children receiving intensive chemotherapy.
Her treatment is due to continue until September 2020, when Bailey will be in P5.
Although the youngster, who will turn seven this month, has been experiencing some unpleasant side-effects from the chemotherapy, Megan said she is in “quite good form” and happy.
The family have been overwhelmed by the support that they have received from the local community since Bailey’s diagnosis.
As part of its annual fun day, St Molaise GAA club in Irvinestown held a Tug of War championship to raise money for the local girl.
Businesses in the town and surrounding area came together to take part in the challenge, which used the hashtag #PullingForBailey and raised a massive £6,000.
Another fundraising event was a dance organised by their neighbours.
Megan said, “The local community has been extremely supportive with words of hope, prayers and generous donations for Bailey and my family feel so proud to be part of such a wonderful community and I appreciate every last person that has helped in any way.”
Praising the close-knit nature of the Cornabracken “family”, the mother-of-six said they had been “so good”.
She said, “They have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to thank Melanie and all my colleagues for organising these events in aid of Bailey.
“I am so thankful to everyone for their kindness and support at this time.”
The staff at the child care facility, located at 120 Tamlaght Road, have extended an open invitation to the coffee morning taking place after the sponsored walk.
All parents, grandparents, friends and children are welcome to attend the event, which is being held from 11.30am to 2pm this Saturday.