Kayleigh and Nikita O’ Connor's Story

[00:00:00] My name is Kayleigh, and I have a four year old girl called Nikki, and she has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We are from Wexford, and we have to travel to Crumlin a lot for treatment. Nikita was diagnosed when she was just after two, uh, she’s nearly five now in October, so she’s done fantastically all through her treatment.

Um, we didn’t have any warning signs with Nikki when she was getting diagnosed. It came on very suddenly. But we had an amazing support system. We had, like, we just had people come from all over. The hospital were fantastic. We were put in touch with people like Bumbalance, Little Blue Heroes, the play therapist up in Crumlin.

Like, everyone was there to support every single one of our needs.

My name is Laura, um, and I work in the fundraising department in Bumbalance. [00:01:00] Bumbalance is a service that’s available to any family who needs it. Um, the service basically offers free transport. For any children who need, um, transport to medical appointments or to respite centres or hospices. We operate all over, um, the Republic of Ireland.

She’s excited to go to the hospital. So she is ready. She’s at the door. She’s holding her bee. She wants to wear something with bees. She hops into the bumbulence and she’s always happy to see Anya or Paul who are our main drivers. We use the bumbulence for routine visits. So her, her chemo, her spinal taps and stuff like that.

We have now rang the bell since last week. And, uh, we still actually use the bumble lens for her follow up visit, which obviously is very important to see how she’s doing, where she’ll get her routine bloods done and, you know, kind of focus on how she’s getting on. And the bumble lens are just amazing for that.

Our drivers will pick up, um, the kids, um, and they will bring them to their appointments. They will [00:02:00] wait. Um, outside, um, for the family until the appointment is over. But also, as you can see, the Bumlands is kitted out for our kids. So we have Wi Fi on board, we have games, books, um, a PlayStation, TV. So it’s also just to kind of, I suppose, help the children relax a little bit, because often it’s very long journeys.

And to provide a peace of mind to the parents, um, so that they know they don’t have to worry about parking, or transport, or the cost of… Nikki’s favorite is actually the fact that she gets to lie down and go to sleep. Sometimes you could be waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to get to Dublin on time for your appointment, and between everything else that’s going on, she’s just like, I’m going for a sleep.

And she will see the big giant bee in the bumbilence. And she’d be like, yeah, we’re going to have the Big B. Then she’ll, she loves the Disco Lights. She’ll be watching those and then she’ll, she’ll go for a snooze. On the way back, she loves, now Paula’s fantastic at picking out good DVDs. So we were rocking it out to Cocomelon [00:03:00] on the way back there the other day.

She would sometimes get a book as well. So she could be absorbed in that. But, uh, the fact that she, she gets to relax. Sometimes Cromlin kind of takes it out of her with all the comings and goings and everything else. It’s great that she gets to actually just sit down or lie down. Kind of zone out a little bit.

You know, and, and travel home in, in style and comfort really. I can’t recommend the Bumberlins. Enough, right? It sounds weird, right? Especially if you’re at the start of your medical journey where it’s like, these people are going to be like part of your family, right? Big milestones that you hit, okay? Like going to school, right?

The hair growing back. Learning to walk again. You actually end up texting your Bumbalance driver, right? And the people in the office and kind of go, look what we’re doing today. And they’re just, they’re always amazed and they’re delighted to see it. So for any parent that is considering uses, um, go onto bumbalance.

com. You’ll find all the information there. Um, and you can contact our office and we’ll be able [00:04:00] to arrange the appointment for you. There’s, there’s no stress. There’s no kind of, Oh God, I need to make sure I’m definitely doing this. Right. It’s all very relaxed. It’s all a big massive positive experience.

They become part of your family at the end of the day.