This Christmas, the Irish Cancer Society is paying tribute to all those affected by cancer in 2021, and remembering the 9,000 people who lost their lives to the disease. Recently, the Society lit up their ‘Garden of Light’ to remember all those who passed away, and to show support for anyone who received a cancer diagnosis in 2021. In a closed ceremony at the Society’s headquarters, the lights were switched on by TV presenter, Muireann O’ Connell, who sadly lost her Dad, Brendan, to cancer in March of this year. Muireann was joined by Pat Tyrell, an Irish Cancer Society Night Nurse, who provides at home end-of life care and support to cancer patients and their families.
Muireann speaks of the incredible support her family received from the Irish Cancer Society during her father’s final days. “I’m honoured to be able to support the Irish Cancer Society Night Nurses who do so much to support thousands of families around the country each year without looking for the recognition they entirely deserve. My thoughts are with everyone whose Christmas table is a chair or maybe even a few chairs short, this year.”
Also in attendance were the Brophy family who availed of the Night Nursing service last year. Fay Brophy, praises the Night Nurses who gave tremendous support to her family, during her Mum, Eileen’s final days at home. “One night, an angel arrived into our house- an Irish Cancer Society Night Nurse. Her presence took away all our worries and left in their place a sense of relief and even joy that we did everything we could. When you’re emotionally and physically exhausted, that practical help, competence and comfort is a kind of miracle. It’s staggering to me to think this service is given for free – because of public generosity. The Night Nursing service allowed us to give Mum the most meaningful last gift we could – the gift of a good death.”
Averil Power, Irish Cancer Society’s CEO said; “As 2021 draws to a close, we reflect on what has been another extremely difficult year for cancer patients and their families and we remember the 9,000 people who died from cancer this year. Over the course of the pandemic, demand for the Society’s Night Nursing service has increased as more and more people want to die at home surrounded by their loved ones. “Tonight and every night, including Christmas, Irish Cancer Society Night Nurses will be in homes across Ireland supporting families and allowing people to spend their final days at home. This is an incredibly special service and we are so grateful to everyone who donates to the Irish Cancer Society for making it possible. Thanks to your support, we will be there for families when they need us most this Christmas.”
The Society’s vital services including Night Nursing, remote counselling, transport to chemotherapy, as well as our Freephone Support Line: 1800 200 700 will continue throughout the festive period. None of these services would be possible without the generous support of the Irish public. Please consider supporting cancer patients and their families this Christmas, by visiting the Irish Cancer Society’s online shop at cancer.ie/Christmas. If you or anyone you know would like to speak to a cancer nurse or learn more about our services, contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700 or visit cancer.ie.
Pic Credit: Andres Poveda