With one in three of us expected to have cancer at some point in our lives, it is likely we, or someone close to us, will have the experience of sitting in a consultation room and being given devastating news. At The Mercy, we want to make sure that this news is told in the most supportive environment possible. We are building a new Cancer CARE Centre next to the Mercy Hospital that will provide a quiet safe place for patients and their families. We still have lots of work to do to make the Cancer CARE Centre a reality and we cannot do it without your help.
- C for compassion
- A for advice
- R for re-assurance
- E is for empowerment – empowering patients to deal with their illness
Cancer CARE Centre Update:
Mercy University Hospital Foundation Secure Location for
Cancer CARE Centre
The Mercy University Hospital Foundation is very pleased to announce that building works have commenced on the property at 9 Dyke Parade, Cork, which will be converted into the long awaited, state-of-the-art, Mercy Cancer CARE Centre.
Following a detailed tendering process, Ross Buildings Ltd of Tralee was appointed as main contractor for the project, and on Monday, 8th August 2022, the conversion of the currently disused Georgian building got underway. It is anticipated that the Centre will be complete by September 2023.
Deirdre Finn, Head of Fundraising Mercy Hospital Foundation, Ray Browne, Project Manager Ross Building, Sandra Daly, CEO Mercy Hospital, Niall Walley, Deasy Walley Partnership & Project Manager Mercy Hospital Foundation, Dr. Tara Houlihan, Senior Clinical Psycho-Oncologist, Eoin Tobin, Chair of Board of Mercy Foundation, Paschal McCarthy, and Eoin Kelleher, Ross Building.
PIC: Darragh Kane
The existing 3,000 sq. ft building, which is located at 9 Dyke Parade, Cork and just a minute’s walk away from both the main entrance to the Mercy University Hospital and it’s Outpatient Department, will be transformed into a modern non-clinical state of the art facility which will provide a quiet and safe place for patients and their families to access an increasingly necessary range of services to support those affected both directly and indirectly by a cancer diagnosis.
The Mercy Cancer CARE Centre will be the home to the flagship Psycho-oncology service which is delivered by Clinical Psychologists and is available to patients (child/ adolescent/ adult) with a cancer diagnosis who attend the Mercy University Hospital, as well as their family members. The building will house several group and individual counselling rooms, with interactive IT systems and a modern comfortable environment to make cancer patients and their families feel they have as much information and support as they need as they deal with an extremely difficult time in their, and their loved one’s lives.
Speaking about the service they will offer at the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre, Dr. Tara Houlihan, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Psycho-oncology at the Mercy University Hospital said:
“Our team will offer psychological support to patients and families at every step of the journey – following diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond – and will provide assessment and a range of psychologically-based therapeutic interventions matched to the patient and their family’s emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual needs.”
The Mercy Cancer CARE Centre will, amongst other things, feature a sensory garden and a library service which will also be online so that it can be accessed from home, together with space for staff and student Psychologists.
Commenting on the commencement of building, Paschal McCarthy said:
“The establishment of a dedicated Cancer CARE Centre has been a long-term objective of the Mercy Hospital Foundation, and following a number of delays, this is a tremendous milestone for the Foundation, having fundraised since 2015 to get this service off the ground. We could not have achieved this without our fantastic team at the Foundation; and most importantly the supporters, donors and volunteers who have run or walked miles, climbed mountains, swum in the sea in the depths of winter, dragged their friends and colleagues out to play golf, and completed many other innovative fundraising activities year after year, all in the effort to raise funds to bring this project to fruition.”
“We cannot forget either, the families who have lost loved ones, and have donated generously in their memory. On behalf of the Foundation, and the patients and families that will use the services provided by the Mercy Cancer CARE Centre over the coming years, thank you to each and every one that has gone out of their way to raise funds for this amazing venture.”
How much do we still have to raise?
To date €1.35 million has been raised for the Cancer CARE Centre. However, the project is expected to cost €2.4 million, so the focus must now shift in an effort to raise a further €1 million to run the services. Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can give our patients and their families the support they need on their cancer journey.
Moya’s sister, Aileen, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Here is her family’s story…
“Why not me?”
These were the incredible words of my sister Aileen, when she was diagnosed out of the blue at the age of 29 with terminal cancer. Choking back the tears, I had asked, “Why you? Why did this have to happen to you?” And that was her simple reply. “Why not me?” But then that was Aileen. She loved life. She literally had one of those smiles that lit up a room. She was just 30 when she died.That year, as she received treatment at The Mercy, the doctors and nurses didn’t just help her physically. They helped her – and our whole family – emotionally too. But it wasn’t easy.
As a family, we spent so much time together with Aileen in the Hospital. We ended up loitering in the halls, or standing at the coffee machine. I remember when we were told the chemo wasn’t working. I started to cry, but Aileen preferred positivity so we tried not to get too upset in front of her. I got up and left the room to let it all out in private. But I had nowhere to go. So I ended up crouched in the corridor with my back against the wall, with everyone walking past me and I just cried until I was able to calm down.
Every day in The Mercy, someone needs a place to go to cry, or calm down, or talk to someone, or gather their wits or learn more about what is happening. The Mercy Cancer CARE Centre will be that place. We are asking for support. Please will you say ‘Why not me?‘
Moya has written many poems since Aileen died to help her with the grief, and to remember the amazing person she was. We hope you enjoy this one…
To change a life
by Moya Muldowney
To support a life in faith alone;
building a bridge on ones own.
She wove a brighter destiny
between the stars, herself and me.
Her fingers cold, held my hand,
whilst we struggled to understand.
A smile unfailing on her face
held us firm in her heart’s embrace.
She fought a battle; she did fall.
We supported her through it all.
In one weak moment, we did ask,
“why was she given this task”.
Her eyes shone pure with honesty,
her voice replied, “why not me?”
In that moment, humbled by she,
my life changed; she changed me.
You can also make a donation by ringing 021-4274076 or by sending a cheque/postal order to Mercy Hospital Foundation, 4 Washington Street West, Cork.