Charity appeal begins in memory of brave Islay girl Ciara

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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