The support network that was in place in Clonmel to provide a caring and loving atmosphere for people diagnosed with cancer, their family and friends was incredible according to broadcaster and author Deirdre Purcell who was the guest of honour at the cancer CARE annual lunch fundraising event.
The lunch, attended by up to five hundred people at Hotel Minella last Friday , was another spectacular success as a fundraiser and marked the 10th anniversary of the fundraiser that is crucial to the success of the CARE Cancer Support Centre located in Clonmel which serves South Tipperary .
Glowing tributes were paid to the inspirational co-founders -Theresa Irwin, Mhuiris Dromey and Eileen Burke - behind CARE when it was established twelve years ago in Clonmel.
Deirdre Purcell said there was nothing about cancer that she could tell the audience that they did not know already.
The guest of honour shared her own personal experiences of cancer concerning her family and friends and spoke of the loving support that everybody needed.
The guest of honour said CARE played an important role in ensuring that the crucial element of loving support was there to those that needed it.
“There is probably nothing I can say to anybody here about cancer, you have all experienced it, all supported people who have experienced it, there is nobody in Ireland that has not been touched by cancer,” said Deirdre Purcell.
She expressed her admiration for the CARE set up in Clonmel and said she was overwhelmed by the massive number of people who came out to support the organisation for a fundraiser.
Such a gathering, she said, was a tribute to the organisation committee and the work being carried out in the community by CARE.
“It is absolutely extraordinary what happens in places like CARE ,its not just about the diversions that are provided such as art, Tai Chi and all the other activities but its the concept of acceptance which is the key ingredient about centres like this,” said the guest of honour.
She had visited the centre and it was obvious to her from entering the door that such an acceptance was there in a therapeutic environment.
Concluding her address Deirdre Purcell said there was no longer an automatic assumption that a person is going to die when diagnosed with cancer, people wanted help and support and she hoped people would stay positive and decide not to hide their distress.
She said this wonderful service was available in Clonmel, “let them help you a bit” Deirdre advised those diagnosed with cancer, their families and friends.
One of the co-founders of CARE Theresa Irwin said the idea of setting up a centre to help people diagnosed with cancer was acted upon and “a centre that we can all be very proud of “ was thriving on the tenth anniversary of the fundraising lunch.
Theresa told the CARE supporters who attended the lunch that over 4,000 people availed of the centre last year and CARE was now affiliated to the Irish Cancer Society which was a very important development for the committee.
She paid tribute to the “wonderful people “ who provided the range of therapy services at the centre on a voluntary basis and to the group of dedicated volunteers who supported the manager of the centre throughout the year.
Theresa said it was the hope of everybody involved at the centre to see more people avail of the facilities that were available .
Consultant Surgeon Peter Murchan paid tribute to the whole team that were intimately involved in ensuring CARE continued to go from strength to strength and praised the role of the team leader Theresa Irwin on her leadership within the organisation.
Consultant Constantino Castineira thanked everybody who attended the Minella to support their major annual fundraiser. He said they were to be admired for continuing to offer invaluable support to CARE despite the difficult economic times we were living in with so many different organisations looking for money.