DANIEL FARRELL DIED at just 15 months of age in 2007 – but thanks to a charity initiative created by his parents, his spirit continues to live on.
‘Daniel’s Heart’ 12 Days of Christmas Cards is a series of cards specially designed for LauraLynn House, Ireland’s children’s hospice, in memory of little Daniel. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart condition, Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy (HOCM) five years ago.
His mum Fiona and dad John were determined to do something to help other children with serious illness, and have been raising money for the children’s hospice ever since. John came up with the idea for the Christmas cards, and used his experience in the printing and advertising business to ask some of Ireland’s leading designers in these industries to recreate the classic 12 Days of Christmas idea in memory of Daniel.
The cards are different every Christmas, and this year there is even a unique design from Daniel’s big sister Sophie, aged 9.
John Farrell, Daniel’s father, said:
We wanted to do something special to remember our little boy whilst also helping children and families affected by serious illness. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the creation of the cards and everyone who continues to buy them every year, we’re living in hard times but year after year, people dig deep in their pockets to support this amazing hospice.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, John said that they have raised between €40 – 50,000 a year with the cards, and all the money raised goes to the LauraLynn Hospice. The LauraLynn hospice requires €1.4 million to operate annually.
Hopefully it will be the same again this year – they were completely sold out the last year, which was great especially in the times we are in. We have a good following of people who have supported us over the last five years.
“I came up with the idea really to sort of keep Daniel’s memory alive,” he continued. “That was the main reason, to be honest with you. We got huge support at the time, because of the industry we worked in, the printing and advertising industry. People were asking us what we could do; when I came up with this idea people just rowed in behind it. It has been a great success.”
Positivity from tragedy
It must have been incredibly difficult for the family to deal with losing their young son. But having this annual event, and knowing that the money raised goes to a good cause, means that tragedy has led to some positivity.
Mainly from our family’s’ point of view, it keeps Daniel’s memory alive. We got some good from an awful tragedy.
The Farrells are huge supporters of the LauraLynn Hospice, and the services it offers to young and ill children. “You don’t want a children’s hospice to be there but unfortunately we do need it. The money unfortunately has to come from fundraising; the Government are not rowing in and supporting it as they should.”
The Farrells have two other children besides Daniel, Sophie who will turn 10 at the end of this month, and four-year-old Matthew.
The pack of 12 cards is sold for €10 a pack, with all of the money going to the LauraLynn Hospice. They can be bought online at the LauraLynn website.