Legacy of little Julie lives on in a special haven
THE idea came to her in a dream following the death of her daughter from cancer.
Esther Wren decided to create a 'relaxation haven' in her daughter's memory for young chemotherapy patients in a busy hospital.
Yesterday, she launched a trust in the name of her daughter Julie (8), who died in 1993 after undergoing extensive treatment at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin.
Mrs Wren, who lost her husband Johnny to pancreatic cancer five years after the death of her only child, told how a vision of children out playing in a field had led her to fundraise for the specialised room.
It is decorated with trees offering aromatherapy, reflexology and Indian head massage for the children suffering nausea from chemo sessions.
"Julie was an inspiration. She lived life to the full," Mrs Wren, who had lived on their dairy farm in Athboy, Co Meath, said.
"Johnny told me to sell the farm before he died as he said it would only be a burden to me.
"It made over a million. I asked Julie and Johnny what did they want. I had a dream that night that there was a field of children in Crumlin out playing from St John's ward and living life to the full. That is where it came about."
Mrs Wren has used the money from the sale of the farm and now lives simply to fund the trust.
In addition to the new therapy room at the oncology unit St John's Ward, the Julie Wren Trust also aids parents with palliative care at home who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.