Tamara’s wish upon a star for brother Callan

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Tamara McErlain from Armoy is making a special wish this Christmas as she helps launch Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Wish Upon a Star appeal.

Tamara is one of the first to make their wish as part of Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Wish Upon a Star appeal, which will see the Cancer Centre’s Christmas tree adorned with hundreds of gold and silver stars, each carrying the personal wish, message or name of a loved one affected by cancer.

People who make a wish will also be given their own star to hang on their tree. For those who can’t make it to the Cancer Centre you can also Wish Upon a Star on Friends of the Cancer Centre’s beautiful virtual Christmas tree by visiting www.friendsofthecancercentre.com.

Tamara will be dedicating her star to her brother, Callan who lost his battle with cancer in 2013. Tamara is calling on others to make their own special wish to help support the vital work of Friends of the Cancer Centre.

Tamara said: “Christmas is such a special time of the year and Callan absolutely loved it, especially opening his presents on Christmas morning. As a family, we still find it difficult at this time of the year but by dedicating a star to him on the Cancer Centre’s Christmas tree we can support a charity that means so much to our family. We’ll also have a star on our tree at home which will help us feel that Callan is with us at Christmas.”

Friends of the Cancer Centre, based in the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients and their families through key projects in the areas of clinical care, patient comforts, and research.  Friends of the Cancer Centre is currently funding 28 additional staff in the Cancer Centre, including doctors, nurses and researchers and the charity is committed to raising at least £5 million over the next three years to fund on-going and new projects which will continue to support local cancer patients.  All money raised through Wish Upon a Star will support the charity’s vital work.

Claire Hogarth, Friends of the Cancer Centre’s fundraising manager, said: “Our Wish Upon a Star appeal is our way of bringing Christmas right into the heart of the Cancer Centre and giving people the opportunity to mark this time of year in a unique and special way. For many people, Christmas can be really difficult and many families will be facing the festive period without a loved one and others will also be trying to have a normal Christmas in the midst of on-going treatment and hospital visits. Nothing can make that easier, but we hope that by making a wish on our tree they will have their own way of remembering that special person, or looking to the future.

“I’d like to invite everyone to help us make the Cancer Centre’s tree shine bright with stars this Christmas. All money raised will be used to support the life-saving and life-changing work that Friends of the Cancer does to support local patients and their families and each star will be cherished as it will represent something, or someone, very special.”

Stars are available for a donation of £5 and can be purchased directly from the Friends of the Cancer Centre office at the Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital, or you can also make a wish on Friends of the Cancer Centre’s virtual tree on the charity’s website www.friendsofthecancercentre.com.