Having a facility on your doorstep like the Cancer CARE Centre in Clonmel was invaluable when faced with a diagnosis of cancer.
Up to five hundred women were informed of just what a centre means to people li ving with cancer by special guest radio personality Anne Gleeson at the eleventh cancer CARE Centre lunch held at the Hotel Minella last Friday.
As usual it was an event packed with style and glamour, a crucial fundraiser for the centre which provided services for three thousand people during 2013.
“This is a good place to be when you are looking for your light at the end of the tunnel” Today FM presenter, a Tipperary native told the Cancer Care audience.,
Anne told of her own experience of dealing with cancer having been diagnosed in July 2012 with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
She told the Hotel Minella audience cancer was a relentless journey and a place like the Clonmel Cancer CARE Centre was of paramount importance to help people cope with the journey.
She expressed her admiration for the founders of the centre,Theresa Irwin and the late Muiris Dromey, and praised all those involved in providing support services and holistic therapies on a voluntary basis.
Having been through that journey Anne said support and friends and company was of huge importance and she felt that the CARE centre provided a platform for all of that.
“Hospitals are a grim place ,to have a place like this centre in Clonmel , to be among people going through it with you and people yo understand you is so important,you need help and this is the place to get it
That journey, said Anne was a “crazy experience” that you never want to happen to you a lo ved one, a friend but that if it does support was all important.
Former nurse and MEPPhil Prendergast, a supporter of the centre, said the involvement of volunteers in the centre was crucial to the support network available for people living with cancer.
“People who give up their time to help people going through cancer are wonderful and it is that community spirit that helps to sustain such a valuable service,” said the Clonmel based MEP.
She applauded the wonderful services being provided at the centre and praised the volunteers who provided healing and therapeutic services at the centre.
She praised the volunteers throughout the whole area of cancer services and said the volunteers that came forward to drive people to Waterford and other locations to avail of chemotherapy and radium as magnificent.
“A lot of the people that use the centre also avail of this transport service which removes for them the worry of the cost of transport as well as giving them moral support by travelling in a group of that understands what each of them is going through.
This support, removing the financial stress and concerns and providing the emotional support in so many cases contributes significant ly to a lot of the good health outcomes said Phil.
She appealed to people to consider the option of taking on the role of volunteer at the centre or in other areas where time and support can be given to people going through cancer.
The MEp said that a volunteer could do some many practical things like put themselves forward to drive people who need cancer services in Waterford to drive,to deliver services to help people or just company and support.
Fr Billy Meehan PP St Marys said the whole volunteer concept surrounding the centre reminded him of the old fashioned neighbourliness that existed years ago.
“ Society can be so selfish and individual istic now,you dont see what we would have called neighbourliness years ago as much now but it is evident through the volunteer ethic that holds these cancer support services together,its a shining lig ht in the essence of community spirit,” said Fr.Meehan.