Dad who lost daughter to cancer sets up respite home for parents of other sufferers 5 months ago

Dad who lost daughter to cancer sets up respite home for parents of other sufferers

"It's as close to feeling at home without being at home."

A man who lost his eight-year-old daughter to cancer has turned the key on a new respite home for families affected by the disease.

Jimmy Norman has spent a decade fundraising after his daughter Aoibheann passed away in 2010.

The youngster was seven years of age when her family was told that she had stage four cancer.

She lived for a little over a year after her diagnosis, passing away just days before her ninth birthday.

She spent her last days at St John's Oncology Ward in Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

This heartbreaking experience made Jimmy realise how tough having a sick child is on parents and inspired him to start charity Aoibheann's Pink Tie.

The organisation has helped hundreds of Irish families whose children are suffering with cancer with practical and financial support.

Jimmy recently got to see the fruits of his tireless work when he went to see a house in Crumlin bought by the charity for the first time.

The house is to be refurbished as a respite home for parents whose children are being treated at Our Lady's.

A video produced by the Content Shop shows an emotional Jimmy walking around the property with fellow fundraiser Mick Rockford.

"It's especially poignant for me this year," he says.

"Aoibheann would have been 18 this year and I can't give (her) anything.

"I can't give her a birthday present this year for her 18th but this is the birthday present. This is the birthday present, this Aoibheann's present to the kids."

Buying the house is "a dream come true", he says, and emphasises its location.

"The house is on the right side of the road. The parents can actually walk to the hospital or if they have a wheelchair or a pram, they can get to the hospital without closing the door.

"When the parents come to the house... they have an opportunity to do ordinary things. They can go for a meal, go for a cup of coffee, do some shopping.

"It's as close to feeling at home without being at home."

You can find out more about Aoibheann's Pink Tie here.