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Help our little stars shine this Christmas

Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice has launched its annual Little Stars Appeal and is asking the public to raise funds to support its very own ‘little stars’ this Christmas.

Nicole and Matt Magee with their three year old daughter Sophia who receives care at NI Children's Hospice

Nicole and Matt Magee with their three year old daughter Sophia who receives care at NI Children’s Hospice

The appeal aims to make every moment count for children and families who need vital hospice care throughout Christmas and into the New Year.

This year, Nicole and Matt Magee, whose daughter Sophia (3) receives care at the children’s hospice in Newtownabbey, are lending their support to the appeal. Sophia sadly suffers from a rare brain condition called Polymicrogyria (PMG), meaning she needs constant round the clock care.

Speaking about Sophia’s condition and why they decided to get involved in this year’s campaign, mum Nicole said, “NI Children’s Hospice have made such a difference to us as a family. Because Sophia’s needs are so complex, we can’t leave her with anyone else.

“The Hospice nurses have got to know her and what she needs, so we really trust them and rely on them. Sophia can go stay at the hospice and we know she will be safe and cared for just the way we care for her.

“It gives Matt and I a break, a chance to just rest and recover. We hardly ever get time together as one of us is either working, sleeping or caring for Sophia. So the time she spends at the Children’s Hospice is so welcome.”

Sophia’s father Matt explained the difference the local charity makes to them, particularly at Christmas. “Christmas is not the same for us as most families unfortunately.

nihospice Christmas comes to Northern Ireland Children's Hospice“Sophia can’t play with toys and, while we celebrate Christmas and the precious time we have with her, it’s sometimes hard when you know she has no real awareness of the magic of Christmas.

“The one thing we really do look forward to every year is the Hospice Christmas party at Horizon House – it’s somewhere we can take Sophia, we meet our friends and we actually feel comfortable, because other parents there are just like us. It’s a like a family community, that’s why the hospice is so important to us,” he added.

Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice provide this crucial service for Sophia and nearly 300 children, young people and families like hers every year.

Director of Children and Young People’s Service, Tina McCrossan, said, “Supporting this year’s Little Stars Appeal will really make a difference to families at what is often a stressful and difficult time of year.

“Just £30 for example will give the gift of care for one hour for a life-limited child in Northern Ireland. This is a present that will really make families shine this Christmas,” Tina added.

To make a donation or for more information, call 028 9077 7123 or go to:

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Posted by on Dec 10 2015. Filed under Community, What's On. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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