Orla McCormack tells us in her own words how her brother Alan has inspired Orla and 15 of their family, friends and neighbours to take up the challenge and walk, jog or run for St. James’s Hospital in the upcoming VHI Women’s Mini Marathon.
My Brother’s Journey:
On the 1st March 2015, my brother Alan went to casualty in Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar. Following many tests there, and at Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore, Alan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on March 10th and was transferred to St. James’s Hospital for treatment. Little did we know at that time, that this hospital would become a home for Alan (with minimal visits home to Westmeath and those few visits he did have only being for a couple of days at a time) and that the staff would become another family for Alan for the next 14 months.
During the months of visiting Alan at various different oncology wards in St. James’s Hospital, my family and I met some neighbours and friends who were undergoing treatment in the hospital at the same time. Sometimes, it was like a Westmeath reunion when we went up there, such was the numbers of people we knew receiving treatment.
From Left to Right: Orla McCormack, her brother Alan, and sister Brenda
Now 14 months on, after extensive treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, a bone marrow transplant, a hip replacement and another hip replacement in the pipeline, we are delighted to have our brother home! The care Alan received by the nurses and care staff on a daily basis was superb and we are forever grateful.
So why did we choose to do the Women’s Mini Marathon?
One of our cousins approached Alan and asked if he would like if she ran the Women’s Mini Marathon to raise funds for St James’s hospital. Alan got myself and my sister Brenda on board and since then the support has soared. There are now an astonishing sixteen women (family, friends and neighbours of Alan) signed up to walk, jog or run the Women’s Mini Marathon to raise funds for St. James’s Hospital, as a result of which we hope to:
-Celebrate the recovery of Alan, our neighbours and friends
-Encourage the continued fight of other neighbours and friends who are still on their battle and getting the excellent treatment and care provided at St. James’s Hospital
-Commemorate the neighbours and friends who have sadly lost their fight
-Provide well needed funding for research to hopefully assist with the combat/prevention of this awful disease that is putting so many of our loved ones through torture
-Thank all the staff of St. James’s Hospital, in particular the staff of the Denis Burkitt Ward where Alan spent the majority of his stay in the hospital, for their endless care and support (and patience!!)…