A mother has opened up about her battle with terminal cancer and the strain of affording treatment and medication on her limited resources.
Mum-of-two Jackie Crowe (49), from Tralee, Co Kerry, was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine tumours – which she describes as “a rare form of cancer that affects a few hundred people in Ireland”- in July of last year.
She was given just a year to live following her diagnosis.
Jackie’s courageous fight is the subject of a TV3 documentary entitled ‘Jackie’s Story: My Life, My Legacy’.
The moving documentary follows Jackie and her family as they come to terms with her illness and make provisions for their future without her.
In early 2013, Jackie was made redundant.
“I was struggling with my mortgage, and to pay the mortgage I stopped paying my life assurance,” she said.
She was subsequently informed that her life assurance policy could not be re-instated after her diagnosis.
Jackie Crowe in a scene from TV3 documentary
Jackie is determined to warn others about the serious impact of neglecting their life assurance policies and has lobbied her healthcare provider for an adequate solution.
After losing her job, Jackie struggled to make ends meet.
“I couldn’t get a job...I applied in McDonalds, I would have cleaned toilets for a few bob.”
With costs for her treatment and medication mounting and her youngest daughter Rebecca sitting her Leaving Certificate, Jackie had to decide between “buying fuel to get to her appointments or buying food for her daughter.”
Jackie tells viewers that at one stage, she could not afford to buy her medication. Staff at her local pharmacy stepped and the paid the rest of the bill.
“Thank god for those fabulous people working in the pharmacy who paid for the rest of it for me.”
She is also trying to keep her daughter enrolled in a hairdressing course in Limerick.