Young Achievers: selfless Aisling honours Liam
A schoolgirl has turned a family tragedy into a book of short stories to raise funds to fight cancer.
Aisling Homan, 15, said the death of a cousin from the disease aged just 3 had sparked her to write Fighting the Battle, about a variety of children at different stages of their battle against cancer.
The Somersfield Academy pupil added that she would sell the books at a school fair and donate the proceeds to the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre.
She said: “I didn’t write it so that I could make money; I wrote it so that people could understand what they go through.
“It just seemed right to give money to the main place in Bermuda that supports the families of cancer patients.”
Aisling was speaking after she took delivery of the first 100 copies of her book last week.
Aisling, from Hamilton Parish, added that the project was inspired by the death of her cousin, Liam, after a nine-month fight against the disease.
Aisling explained that, although she was also a toddler when he died, the two were “best friends”.
She said: “I saw him all the time when we visited Ireland. One of the main memories I have of him is us jumping on my grandparents, just playing around.”
Aisling added: “I decided to write the book for him so that other people have an idea of what actually happens, so they can support them and know what they’re going through.”
Aisling said that she wrote the book for a yearlong school project as part of her year’s International Baccalaureate programme.
She added that she spent about six months writing her stories and submitted the book for publication at the start of the new year. Aisling said: “I was nervous at first, because I wasn’t really that confident in my story.
“I put it through a lot of edits and there were maybe five different rounds of editing to get it to where I was happy with it.
“It was nerve-racking because I didn’t know if it would turn out the way that I thought it would.”
Niamh Homan, Aisling’s mother, said that her daughter had supported the fight against cancer for most of her life.
She added that Aisling had donated her hair several times to cancer charities and helped with fundraising.
Ms Holman said: “I think it’s just a huge achievement for a 15-year-old to write a book and to be so selfless to give 100 per cent of the proceeds to charity.”
Lynne Woolridge, the chief executive officer of the BCHC, added: “We appreciate that she would have chosen such a heavy topic to focus on and to find a way to honour her cousin in this way, while at the same time assisting people who are currently going through such a challenge, either personally or with family members.”
Aisling said that, despite her interest in writing, she planned to study medicine when she left school.
She added: “Liam, thank you for leaving your lasting impression on me and for being a constant inspiration.”
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