The late Cian Neary with his beloved dog, Cooper
The parents of a Longford teenager who died from a rare form of cancer two years ago are on the cusp of ensuring sick children will be able to have their very own pet alongside them while undergoing life saving treatment.
Evelyn and Enda Neary will today see the first evidence of a near two year campaign to provide a purpose built free-holding kennels at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) in memory of their 15-year-old son come to fruition.
The move follows a huge community effort and a national fundraising campaign after brave Cian died in September 2019 from lymphoma, having undergone treatment at CHI at Crumlin, formerly known as Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.
Now, ‘Cian’s Kennels’ a charity set up by Evelyn and Enda in March 2020 with the help of a newly established board of directors, volunteers, other parents and friends, has led to the start of phase one of an ambitious and exciting plan to bring pets closer to sick children and their families.
Work began this morning to erect specially designed €100,000 holding kennels for pets, complete with a seating area for families, an indoor and outdoor area for pets and bathroom/toilet facilities which will allow children at the hospital to see their beloved pets on the campus in a controlled situation.
During this initial phase, pets will board at the nearby DSPCA pet hotel and will be transported by Cian’s Kennels over and back to the hospital to visit sick children and their families by appointment.
“Our beloved 15-year-old son Cian loved life generally – his love of sport, fashion, food and socialising with his friends was clear to all who knew him but his greatest love was animals, of all shapes and sizes”, said Cian’s mother Evelyn.
“Our world fell apart when Cian was diagnosed with Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma in September 2018 and, while in hospital in the early days of diagnosis, we asked him if there was anything we could get him to make him feel better.
“We already knew the answer and a few weeks later Cooper, a gorgeous golden Labrador puppy joined our other dog and cat as part of our animal family.”
Cian visited Cooper most days and, as the hospital continued treatment until the last week of his life, the fun-loving Killashee schoolboy still enjoyed many occasions and outings in Dublin, knowing Cooper was safe nearby.
It was that positive impact of having close at hand which ultimately led to the setting up of Cian’s Kennels following the fun-loving Longford schoolboy’s death over two years ago.
“For us as a family, these outings and the time Cian spent with Cooper became the basis of lasting, precious memories when Cian sadly lost his battle for life in the early hours of September 23, 2019”, said Cian’s dad, Enda.
“We experienced first-hand the joy Cooper brought Cian and us during the most difficult days”.
Cian’s family and the Cian’s Kennels team now want to get the message of awareness out to other parents and children around the country.
“We want the word to go out to every child heading into hospital in Crumlin that, right now, you can avail of most of our services and we expect that the holding kennels will be up and running by mid/late February 2022, so spread the word”, said Evelyn.
“Our plan with Cian’s Kennels was to provide kennelling facilities close to the children’s hospital, providing this service in a structured, safe, practical way, free of charge to families and now, thanks to the efforts of so many, we are nearly there.”
The new service will include full veterinary checks including vaccinations for the visiting pets before they arrive at the hospital. Transport from home to and from the kennels will also be covered.
Further information on all of the services of Cian’s Kennels is available on the website –www.cianskennels.ie.
Families who wish to avail of services can contact the team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 085 1488660.
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