Home from home at Ciaran’s House

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A NEW-build bespoke home for cancer patients and their families has been named Ciaran’s House after a brave teenager who donated bone marrow to his younger brother.

CLIC Sargent has been providing a safe haven for young patients and their families at their CLIC Villa since 1997 to ease the financial and emotional burden on those who have to travel for their child’s medical treatment.

Now known as Ciaran’s House after a call to the public to help name the new facility, the architect-designed Home from Home on Old Dalkeith Road is set to open its doors in the autumn.

People from as far away as America and Australia voted in the online poll launched by the charity and its partner, The Crerar Trust, which asked the public to choose a name from four put forward by families who have been supported by the cancer charity.

When Ciaran McSherry’s little brother Reon was diagnosed with leukaemia at 11 years old, the teenager was desperate to help.

Reon, from North Berwick, eventually needed a bone marrow transplant and Ciaran turned out to be the perfect match.

Sadly on the first anniversary of Reon’s transplant the family were given the news that he had relapsed. He had to have a second stem cell transplant, which saw Ciaran undergoing five days of injections to extract cells before the procedure was carried out.

Mum Aileen was thrilled when she found out the new Edinburgh Home from Home would bear the name of her oldest son.

She said: “It is fantastic news. CLIC Sargent has been an absolute rock for my family. We feel it’s a huge privilege that Ciaran’s name has been chosen.

“CLIC has wrapped us all up with care and support as a family for the last few years, providing a loving background and allowing our son Reon to be himself, making him feel like he’s at home, even though he is being treated in hospital.”

The family stayed in Edinburgh’s CLIC Villa during Reon’s treatment and have nothing but praise for the staff there who “deeply understood our situation before we even did and have cheered us on ever since”.

Aileen put forward Ciaran’s name in recognition of all that he has done for his little brother. “He is only 16 and he has sacrificed a lot”, she said. “They have both been through this together for the last two years and will always have that special bond.”

The house, which will have nine en-suite bedrooms, communal kitchens and shared social areas, will provide vital free accommodation for children and young people with cancer and their families near the Sick Kids Hospital at Little France.

Thousands of families have been supported by CLIC Villa over the years with more than 300 staying in the house since 2016, many for several months.