Cancer teenager draws strength to help children

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A 13-year-old girl battling cancer has launched her own Christmas card which aims to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, the charity for children and young people with cancer.

Ava Martin, from Coleraine, is currently receiving treatment at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

During a recent stay in hospital, Ava decided to help other young people with cancer by designing her own Christmas Home from Home picture which has been reproduced by local printing company, Minprint.

Speaking about her Christmas card, Ava said; “During a long spell in hospital at the beginning of my treatment, I decided to use my time to help other people and came up with the idea of a Christmas card to help CLIC Sargent.

“It was great fun making the design and even better to see the finished card!

“I have to travel to Belfast from Coleraine, so I know how important a Home from Home would be for families. So I hope lots of people buy the cards to raise money for the Appeal.”

Eimear McCooey, Corporate Fundraising Manager said “Our research tells us that, on average, families in Northern Ireland travel 95 miles up to five times a week to access the cancer treatment their child needs. This places an enormous stress on families, particularly at times like Christmas when a family should be together.

“Thanks to Ava’s beautiful design and the support from Minprint sale of these Christmas cards will help to raise funds for our Homes from Home Appeal, which will ease that financial and emotional burden and most importantly, will create a place for families to stay together away from the hospital.”

Every penny from the sale of the Christmas cards will go directly towards CLIC Sargent’s Home from Home Appeal, which aims to build free self catering accommodation close to the Belfast hospitals.

Jamie McMinnis, Director at Minprint said; “Through our work with CLIC Sargent we have learned about the huge distances that families in Northern Ireland have to travel to get the cancer care their child needs.

“I would certainly encourage other local businesses to get behind this great cause.”

The cards, in packs of eight, are available now by calling CLIC Sargent on 028 90725780 or online at They cost £5 and all funds raised will go towards CLIC Sargent Homes from Home Appeal.