The Railway House, Tipperary town has been transformed into a sanctuary for cancer care patients, their carers and families that previously could only be found in large towns and cities.
Founder, Jennifer Jones-Hickey from Tipperary town was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 4, in October 2010 and is receiving ongoing treatment, with only one break in 2013, to maintain good health. In-between treatments Jennifer attended The Girlâ€™s Club in Cork and decided to set up a similar centre in Tipperary town.
â€œWhat people have achieved here is amazing,â€ explained Jenniferâ€™s older sister Laura. â€œOnly six months ago Jennifer was asking how could we set up something similar in Tipperary town and yet here it is, Here in Tipperary the community came together and made this happen quite quickly There is a great committee and my father is a great support to Jenniferâ€ she said.
The centre will offer a number of services and complimentary therapies through voluntary services provided by local professionals.
For those who survive cancer it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer describes how it affected her and how she is surviving. â€œThis centre is my purpose now. I appreciate life more and itâ€™s not just about going to work and coming home; life is more precious than that and I remember wondering what it was all about before I got cancer.
Through my illness I have found my life purpose and if one good thing had to come out of this it is that I am more grateful for life. Iâ€™m not grateful that I got cancer, but Iâ€™m grateful for what I found through cancer and how I found myself through this experience. If anything happens to me now I wouldnâ€™t be unhappy or have regrets, because of the person I have become today because of it.â€
The centre relies on community fundraising and donations.If you wish to organise a fundraiser please contact Pat Jones (Chairman),Nora Hoare (Treasurer), Jennifer Jones-Hickey (Secretary), Tom Oâ€™Donohue, Monica Fogarty, Catriona Riordan, Mary Teresa Oâ€™Donnell and Maeve Lowry..