A SOUTH Belfast GAA club has pledged its support for one of its under eight footballers who has starred in a charity film to show children that "cancer doesn’t cancel Christmas".
Erin Donnelly, a seven-year-old player with Bredagh GAA, is the star of this year's Children's Cancer Unit Charity's Christmas fundraising campaign.
After experiencing first-hand how cancer affects children, she took part in a short film to tell about her own cancer journey to help others facing similar health battles.
On Saturday, the schoolgirl received even more support when Bredagh GAA vowed to get behind the work of the charity in the coming year, especially in Erin's honour.
The club held a reception for the young player, promoting her to chairperson of the club for the day and plans to hold other fundraising events to support the charity in the coming months.
Bredagh chairman Malcolm McFarland said: "We are proud of Erin not only as a part of our Bredagh GAC and wider south Belfast family for the courage and optimism she has shown during her illness but also as an ambassador of hope for all children going through their own battle with cancer.
"Erin is also an example for young an old and at this Christmas time and we also urge our friends and neighbours to support the work of the Children’s Cancer Unit.
"We are proud to be part of their much deserved campaign."
Little Erin was treated at the Children’s Cancer Unit last year for a Wilms' tumour, which saw her undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and stem cell transplant.
She has been in full remission since February.
Recently she teamed up with the Children's Cancer Unit Charity at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to launch its Christmas appeal, starring as Erin the Elf in a short video.
The film tells the story of Erin’s journey to hospital and her excitement at getting home again - a stark reminder that many children and young people face an anxious time as they await treatment for their condition.
Her mother Michelle said: "The Children’s Cancer Unit in Belfast does amazing work for children of all ages who are undergoing treatment for the many forms of cancer which affect young people.
"Erin’s story is one which is experienced by many other children across Northern Ireland throughout the year, but we are so proud and happy to see her doing so well as we look forward to Christmas at home together this year."
The charity raises money to ensure that the medical team at the Children’s Cancer Unit is equipped with the necessary equipment, resources and support to provide the best possible treatment and care.
Felix Mooney from the charity said: "We know how serious cancer is and that children who are affected sometimes face a very difficult journey that takes a toll throughout the year, but especially at Christmas time.
“Erin’s bravery and determination is an inspiration to us all this Christmas.
"Anyone who knows her or sees this film cannot fail to be touched by her and indeed by the many other children currently undergoing treatment at the Unit.
"Like the other children and all the staff at the unit, Erin shows that cancer does not cancel the spirit of Christmas."