It’s that time of year again with the South Leitrim 80km Cycle in aid of the North West Hospice appealing, yet again, for participants to join in the fun.
This year’s cycle will take place on Saturday, August 4. It will depart from St Patrick’s Church, Mohill, heading for Ballinamore before continuing on into Drumshanbo for lunch before resuming the cycle towards Carrick, Dromod and back to Mohill for a BBQ at J’s Hotel.
If you were ever in doubt about the important difference fundraising through the cycle makes in the community then you only have to speak to one of the many families who have used the Hospice during the illness of a loved one.
Regina MacCormac notes that “it’s quite possible that you’ve never given much consideration to where the pennies that you throw into the bucket collections for North West Hospice go. In fact, its usually not until you or someone close to you are faced with terminal illness that you even think about what goes on in ‘these places’.
“If you had asked me six years ago what hospice was, you’d have received a very sketchy answer. It wasn’t until my mother was diagnosed with cancer and given a poor prognosis that I really learned what a terrific job these people do.
“Mum wanted to stay at home for as long as possible and to pass away at home, that was made very clear from the start but when the palliative care team contacted us, on foot of a GP referral, she was quite fearful that ‘the system’ would try to put her somewhere to be looked after. The team put her mind at ease on that issue from the outset. As far as they were concerned, we were doing a great job at home and their only mission was to help ALL of us; help mum to remain comfortable and help us all to cope.
“We met the nurses, three different ones in all, on a rotational basis and they explained to us that they just wanted to visit us at weekly intervals so that we would be familiar with them all when the time for actually needing them would arrive. They offered advice on diet, on comfortable positions for resting, medication (although they knew we had that pretty much under control) on appliances that would make things easier, day to day, relaxation techniques, holistic treatments and remedies. We chatted about everything.
“As it turned out, we only met each of them once; 3 weeks later, it was over for us. They were with us the day before mum died, her medication was changed; they looked after injections when she could no longer swallow tablets. They called over again the next morning and helped us to prepare, in so far as one can prepare! I for one will not forget our journey together.”
Clearly for families like Regina’s the Hospice offered essential support, care and advice at a very difficult time. Will you help the Northwest Hospice carry on its vital work? Please join this year’s cycle. To register please call/text your name and address to Tracy on 087 7511743, email firstname.lastname@example.org and you can also view www.facebook.com/southleitrim80kcycle