Fam­ily’s ap­peal

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­times.co.uk

THE fam­ily of brave tee­nea­ger Ciara Caskie Al­lan, who died last month aged just 16, have urged sup­port for a char­ity ap­peal in her name.

THE fam­ily of brave Is­lay teenager Ciara Caskie Al­lan are ap­peal­ing for peo­ple to sup­port her char­ity work as a last­ing me­mo­rial to her.

Ciara died last month at the age of 16 after a 13-year strug­gle against a brain tu­mour.

How­ever, de­spite her de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­ness, Ciara em­barked on a fundrais­ing cam­paign in aid of the Glas­gow Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Char­ity to raise money for the Schiehal­lion Ap­peal.

Now, to hon­our Ciara’s fundrais­ing work, her fam­ily have set up a crowd­fund­ing page to help the cause. The page has al­ready raised thou­sands to fund clin­i­cal tri­als for young peo­ple fac­ing cancer and blood dis­or­ders.

On the Face­book ap­peal page, Ciara’s mum Lloret said: ‘We al­ways knew Ciara was a very spe­cial per­son and it’s of great com­fort to us to know so many peo­ple thought so too. She met life head on with such op­ti­mism and en­thu­si­asm. She will be for­ever missed but never ever for­got­ten.’

Lloret added: ‘Last year Ciara was one of the faces of the Glas­gow Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Char­ity an­nual Christ­mas ap­peal which aimed to raise £200,000 to fund a neu­ro­sur­gi­cal en­do­scope, a chal­lenge which she met with such en­thu­si­asm and ded­i­ca­tion.

‘This cul­mi­nated in a char­ity ball where Ciara, along with con­sul­tant neu­ro­sur­geon Roddy O’Kane, was a guest speaker. It was with such pride and tears in our eyes that we watched her stand in front of over 500 peo­ple and tell the story of her jour­ney and why peo­ple should be mak­ing a do­na­tion to such a wor­thy cause.

‘We be­lieve that the fi­nal sum raised from the 2016 ap­peal was far in ex­cess of £300,000, which we’ve been told by the char­ity’s team was partly due in no small way to Ciara’s in­volve­ment.

‘This year’s ap­peal will be to raise £500,000 to en­hance clin­i­cal tri­als cen­tre, com­monly known as Schiehal­lion, at the Royal Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren in Glas­gow, where Ciara was a pa­tient for over 12 years.

‘Ciara’s long-time am­bi­tion in life was to work for or run her own char­ity. She had even gone as far as choos­ing a name – Over The Rain­bow. While do­na­tions to this year’s ap­peal can be made di­rectly to the char­ity, we thought that as a last­ing mem­ory to Ciara and help­ing her ful­fil her am­bi­tion, it would be nice to raise some funds in her name which we can then do­nate col­lec­tively to this year’s ap­peal at the time of the 2017 an­nual char­ity ball.

‘With this in mind, we have set up a Just­Giv­ing page in Ciara’s name called A Gift From Ciara, where do­na­tions can be made. The tar­get we have set is £2,500 which we’re hope­ful we will be able to achieve with your sup­port and love for our beau­ti­ful girl.

‘Fi­nally, thank you for all your won­der­ful sup­port for Ciara over the years, it has meant so much to us all.’

Ciara went through eight ma­jor sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures, four rounds of chemo­ther­apy and three months of pro­ton beam ra­dio­ther­apy in Ok­la­homa. A cere­bral haem­or­rhage last year left her fight­ing for sur­vival and paral­ysed down her left side.

Heart­felt tributes were paid to Ciara on so­cial me­dia when news of her death broke.

Deb­o­rah MacLach­lan Dougall posted: ‘My first mem­ory of Ciara is from Ward 66. She of­fered me a Percy Pig and was hor­ri­fied when I told her I didn’t like them - I got a full speech about how won­der­ful they are. After that any time I men­tioned the name Ciara, my mum would say “Percy Pig Ciara?” You are all still very much in my thoughts.’

Lin­say MacArthur wrote: ‘Ciara was a lovely girl. I will never forget the beau­ti­ful smile she had ev­ery time I saw her.’

Erin Sin­clair added: ‘Ciara was an ab­so­lute ray of sun­shine! A plea­sure to know such a brave young lady!’

And Ar­lene Ful­ton said: ‘Amaz­ing girl and such a great way to hon­our her wishes and am­bi­tions.’

To do­nate visit www.just­giv­ing.com/crowd­fund­ing/ agift­from­ciara

Ciara Caskie Al­lan.

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