A Carrickfergus schoolgirl has been remembered with the opening of the new playground at the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.
The refurbished play area was officially reopened on July 31 by family and friends of Rebekah Bunting, who sadly passed away last August.
Rebekah was diagnosed in June 2013 with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare inoperable tumour in the stem of the brain.
Her condition deteriorated rapidly and Rebekah spent the last few weeks of her life at the Children’s Hospice in Newtownabbey.
Over the last twelve months, Rebekah’s family and friends have been fundraising tirelessly for the charity in her memory.
The ceremony held extra significance for the Bunting family, taking place on what would have been Rebekah’s tenth birthday.
Those assembled took a moment to mark the special day by releasing balloons.
Also present at the event was Leanne Dawson, whose niece Kaci was friends with Rebekah at Woodlawn Primary School.
Leanne raised over £1700 in sponsorship for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children by having her waist-length hair cut.
Speaking on behalf of Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Marcus Cooper said; “We are so thankful for the support we have received from Rebekah’s family and friends. The last year has been a very difficult time for them but to have also raised over £16,000 through a series of fundraising events and challenges is amazing.
“The money they have raised has enabled us to refurbish and reopen the playground area at the Children’s Hospice – allowing the children we care for and their brothers and sisters to enjoy this beautiful outdoor space when they visit the Children’s Hospice.
“On behalf of the Children’s Hospice I want to sincerely thank the Bunting family and everyone who have been fundraising for our charity in memory of Rebekah. Not only have they allowed us to reopen the playground but they have also raised additional funds so that we can continue providing special nursing care to children like Rebekah living in Northern Ireland.”
Established in 1996, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is the only dedicated palliative care service in Northern Ireland and the only organisation that can offer high level support to life limited children.
Care is provided at the Children’s Hospice buildings in Newtownabbey and Killadeas, and also in local communities across Northern Ireland.