Offering support for people with cancer

A BUSINESSWOMAN who surivived breast cancer is hoping that by telling her story she will raise awareness of the work of the Solas Centre.

A BUSINESSWOMAN who surivived breast cancer is hoping that by telling her story she will raise awareness of the work of the Solas Centre.

Jackie Hoyne, who runs the Blackberry Cafe in Thomastown was diagnosed with Stage 3 Advanced Breast Cancer in December 2009.

She was admitted for treatment on January 14, 2010 and the Solas centre was recommended by the liaison nurse on the ward. Jackie admits that having cancer was terrifying but she repressed the powerful emotions and met the challenge head on with a very stoic ‘get on with it’ attitude. She would not give in to her fears and wanted to channel all her energies on getting better. One fear Jackie had was getting into a car and driving as she had a phobia about car crashes since she was diagnosed. She felt that because her body was so on the edge a car crash would have been too much to handle.

Her first appointment at The Solas centre was scheduled for February 1, 2010. Jackie lives 20 miles from the hospital so driving was essential but she never made this appointment as driving down the quays in Waterford a large 4x4 crashed into her. The car was written off and she was rushed to hospital in a neck brace but thankfully didn’t sustain any last injuries and managed to get to the centre a few weeks later.

Claire at the Solas Centre talked to Jackie and her husband and they decided reflexology would help. The therapist Gail was able to describe the emotions they were feeling through reflexology. They found this very useful and it was a safe place for Jackie to deal with her psychological and emotional needs.

One year on Jackie has made a full recovery, feels great and no longer has the car crash phobia. She puts this down to the fantastic help that she and her husband received at the Solas Centre.

Built entirely from community fundraising and the generosity of the people of the South East, the Solas Centre was designed with ambiance and comfort in mind. There are relaxing therapy rooms and quiet comfortable sitting rooms for a confidential chat or for counselling. The art room is bright and airy and perfect for kids to splash paint or for adults to express themselves through art. The Centre’s assembly room is great for groups to meet and chat.

Iain Munro, SECF Chairman, said “The Solas Centre would not be here if it wasn’t for the generosity and goodwill of the people of the south east. Since April 2008, we have been campaigning to build and fund state-of-the-art cancer support centre that offers excellent services to cancer patients and their families. Frankly, none of this would have been achieved if it wasn’t for the groundswell of support and kindness from the people of the South East,” he said.

However the need for fundraising goes on. The event, now is in it’s fourth year is changing emphasis from building the centre to maintaining quality cancer services. It is also expanding its appeal for participants not just from Waterford City but from the whole South East. Each year across Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Carlow and Kilkenny, 2000 people are diagnosed with cancer. While last year cancer support was provided to 250 the Solas Centre anticipates that it will be able to provide support to 1,000 patients in 2012.

The Solas Centre, the South East’s cancer support service, is calling on all runners, joggers and walkers to get in shape for the Solas Centre South East Run for Life which takes place on October 16 in Waterford City. Sponsorship cards are available from the Solas Centre in Waterford city, Sam McCauley stores and AIB branches through out the region. The organisers are hoping 1,000 people take part in support of the 1,000 who will avail of the Solas Centre in 2012.

For further information contact the Solas Centre on 051 304604 or check out the ‘Solas Centre South East Run for Life’ Facebook page.