Tuesday 27 September 2016

'I call it friendship through flowers'

Arlene Harris

Published 28/03/2014 | 02:30

May Ryan
May Ryan

May Ryan has reason to be thankful today as she was diagnosed and treated for cancer on three separate occasions.

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"I developed breast cancer in 1985, had a full mastectomy and follow-up treatment," recalls the mother of four who has 12 grandchildren.

"After my recovery, I got involved with the ICS by volunteering to help sell flowers on Daffodil Day because I felt so grateful to be alive.

"Then in 2004, I was struck down with colon cancer and had both radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

"A year later, I got diagnosed with liver cancer and had to have a portion of my liver removed.

"Then as a result of the treatment, I developed osteoporosis – so it's been a tough time."

The septagenarian Dublin woman has been volunteering on Daffodil Day for almost three decades and feels her positive mentality has a lot to do with her recovery.

"I've always tried to remain optimistic, as I think having a positive outlook is almost a treatment in itself," says May whose husband Tommy has passed away.

"I discovered Tai Chi eight years ago and this also made a huge difference – both mentally and physically.

"I do it four times a week and it's a lovely recreation, which, along with my interest in flowers, keeps me on an even keel.

"And that's the thing about Daffodil Day – everyone recognises it, everyone is affected by cancer and it's nice to be able to show people that there is life after it. I call it friendship through flowers."

Irish Independent

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