When Paul Hayes of The Barbican Community Centre in Drogheda sent us the following email, our hearts stopped and our minds thought of nothing else besides the current condition of a four year old girl named Lily-Mae Morrison. Rather than explain what the message entailed, we have decided to publish the actual email which Paul sent into us, so please take the time to read this:
Four year old Lily-Mae Morrison from Claregalway is suffering from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, a rare and extremely aggressive childhood cancer of the nervous system. She is the daughter of professional ballet dancers, Judith Sibley and Leighton Morrison. When she grows up, she wants to be a ballet dancer like her Mummy and Daddy but Neuroblastoma is not playing nicely.
She likes the colour purple and dinosaurs, and particularly likes purple dinosaurs. She also likes fairies and, more often than not, imagines herself as one. She would like to ‘magic’ the pain away but there’s no magic in the real world and as a trainee fairy, she finds this a little bit confusing.
Her Mummy really likes the song ‘Tiny Dancer’ (by Elton John), and when we told her it was the song we wanted to produce for Lily-Mae in aid of the Sunni Mae Trust, she cried. If you listen carefully to the lyrics you can see that the song was actually written for Lily-Mae in 1971, but Elton and Bernie didn’t know that at the time.
Neuroblastoma doesn’t like noise and we want to create as much noise as possible for Lily-Mae by trying to get Tiny Dancer to the Christmas Number One spot. To help do this, we have come together as one voice, nearly 300 of us, drawn, in the most part, from musical societies from all over the island of Ireland, to sing with a galaxy of Irish stars including Mary Black, Declan O’Rourke, Paddy Casey, Mundy, John Spillane, Steve and Joe Wall, Camille O’Sullivan, Tom Dunne, Paddy McKenna, Adela and the Meanits, Gavin James, Sandra Dolan, Brian Flanagan, Frank Naughton, Sean Costello, Kian McSweeney, Gari Deegan, Richie Hayes, Conor Quinn, Sara Lou, Mickey Joe Harte, Aoife Scott, Laura Sheeran, Ashley Tubridy, The Pale, The Reverse, Kila, Preacher’s Son, Arrow in the Sky, Naymedici, and from London’s West End, Rob Vickers.
If we can do this, keep the X Factor winner from the Christmas Number One spot, the tabloids will love the story of the little, purple dinosaur loving fairy ballerina with a deadly cancer who left Simon Cowell’s plastic popstar out in the cold this winter.
We really need your help and support to make this a success; we need you to be Lily-Mae’s champion; to help us make all this noise; to make Neuroblastoma a cancer that people don’t have to google; to make it so that people know that they need to target their giving to support research into a disease that is incredibly effective at killing those with the most life to lose, our children.
Please buy our single when we release it this Christmas, for yourself, for your work colleagues, for your acquaintances, for your friends, for your family and most of all, for Lily-Mae.
Thank you for reading this message.
Paul Hayes, Fundraising Manager (and Uncle to Lily-Mae)