Thank you so much to Máire for sharing her patient story with us…
“It’s over 7 years since I found out I had breast cancer. I had been attending another Breast Health Clinic because of cysts in both my breasts. After my mother died, I thought I felt a ‘new lump’ and I went to my GP, who recommended I have it checked out… they would make the arrangements. Carol from St James’s Hospital Breast Care phoned me the following Thursday, to ask me to attend the Tuesday clinic… I’m convinced, this was my mother’s hand minding me.
The following Tuesday, I met Carol and Mr Alazawi – that day I had a mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy. I would get the results in a week, but a week later I was asked back and told I needed a breast MRI. This took a couple of weeks to arrange, but the MRI was the conclusive test. The day Carol and Mr Alazawi told me, although in shock, I remember Carol welcoming me to the Breast Care Family… the warmth of those words meant the world to me. I had a mastectomy to my left breast a couple of weeks later. Chemotherapy started in May and ended mid-September, and that was followed by 6 weeks of radiation.
It was while I was undergoing the daily radiation treatment, that my youngest sibling Edel (pictured with me here on the right) decided to run a fundraising ‘Thank You Breast Care’ coffee morning for looking after her big sister SO very well. I come from a family of seven children, I’m number 2 and have three wonderful sisters and brothers. Edel is the youngest of us all… she’s the kind of person who when she decides to do something, it simply gets done. That first October coffee morning she baked and baked AND baked. It was also her idea that we use my mother’s beautiful china cups, saucers and side plates. The event was held in our family pharmacy and ALL of my family and extended family rowed in to support. My daughter in law Edwina also contributed to the fabulous home baked tasty treats and my sister Fiona (our number 1) is an established artist and every single year has donated a painting for the raffle.
That first year we raised 4 thousand euro. When I asked Carol where the money could be best used, she immediately said towards the refurbishment if the prosthesis fitting room. For 5 years, we have held our coffee morning and have raised over €20,000 for St James’s Hospital. This year because of Covid -19 and personal/ social distancing, sadly it is not possible, but St James’s Hospital still needs our help. So many families are dealing with cancer diagnosis, the search for cures and ground breaking treatment continues and needs our help.
I owe my life to so many people in St James’s who, over the years since then, continue to look after me. I am forever thankful for their caring devotion, professionalism and now friendship.”
-Máire Marron Morrissey
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