I have never shared this photo before. It was taken this exact time 2 years ago, just after my second chemotherapy for Stage 3 Breast Cancer aged 39. I’m sharing it now to show the harsh reality that is a cancer diagnosis. I had started to lose my hair that day and made the really difficult decision to shave off my remaining hair. As a result of this diagnosis over the past 2 years my life has changed completely, I have undergone chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bilateral mastectomies, a total hysterectomy, induced menopause and commenced reconstructive surgeries with my most recent surgery being 6 weeks ago just before the Covid 19 lockdown. I am so grateful to be alive and well with my family, happy, healthy with regular checkups and preventative medication for the next 10 years.
Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is both a physical and psychological struggle, life is never the same again and the fear of a recurrence never leaves, but with the help of Cois Nore Support services, many like me receive the help and guidance on how to navigate life and the new normal after a diagnosis . Little did I think when I referred many patients affected by cancer to Cois Nore many years ago while
working in Kilkenny city as a Public Health Nurse, that I myself would avail of their fantastic services in the years ahead and I am very grateful to the team at Cois Nore. They are an amazing team of people committed to the provision of support services to cancer sufferers and their families. All services are provided free of charge and are funded solely by donations received from our community.
Due to Covid 19 pandemic all fundraising events for the foreseeable future have had to be postponed and the Charity Shop has been forced to shut their doors also. Although the Cois Nore Support Centre is closed, the support services are very much still operating and are very much needed. The team of volunteers continues to provide emotional and practical support both over the phone and online to many service users. Having cancer is difficult enough on its own, but the fear of contracting this virus for many who are currently undergoing treatment and the isolation measures needed are compounded by Covid 19. There are delays and postponements to oncology treatments, surgeries, checkups and scans have all been rescheduled for later dates and these delays all heighten the worries that oncology patients are experiencing. As a result oncology support services are under even more pressure than usual. Cois Nore are unable to continue with fundraising events to raise money for much needed funds to continue their outreach work.
In order to give something back to Cois Nore, I am going to undertake 5KM A DAY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY and I would be extremely appreciative if you could sponsor me through the Go Fund Me link here on this page. No donation is too small!
I would be delighted if anyone else wishes to undertake this challenge with me as many people are already out exercising within our 2km restriction. The more money we can raise for Cois Nore together the better. Feel free to copy my shared link to your own facebook page if you wish to do this challenge too and all proceeds will go straight to Cois Nore. It can be 5KM around your home, garden, treadmill or immediate neighbourhood within the advised 2KM restriction, lets all do it together. Its not about timing if it takes 25 minutes/ an hour or two with the kids or most of your day to do it, you can walk it , cycle or run. I am 6 weeks post surgery and on preventative medications that have many side effects so I won't be beating any records by any means but I will give it my all every day! Getting out and exercising has huge benefits both physical and psychological for everyone, its great for the mind and plays a very important part in rehabilitation post cancer.
Every single one of our families has been affected by or knows someone whose life has changed because of cancer. Please support Cois Nore through my Go Fund Me Challenge to enable them to continue to support those in our community affected by this awful disease. Also please remember to be vigilant in checking yourself for any signs or symptoms of cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed the better the outcome, breast awareness has saved my life, if I had not found a lump on self examination, I'm not sure I would be here to do this fundraiser!
Thank you so much for your support, Aran x
- Joan &Jimmy English
- Julie O Brien
- Miriam Kennedy
- Kay Morrissey
- Lorna Mulcahy
Organizer and beneficiary
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