Friday 15 November 2019

'This is a pittance just to allow women to feel normal again'

Sandra O'Rourke-Glynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Sandra O'Rourke-Glynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

"Come at me when I'm healthy and I'll fight you - but not when I'm sick when I can't," said Sandra O'Rourke-Glynn.

Diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of July 2015, the 48-year-old mother from Athy, Co Kildare, is still in the middle of chemotherapy and will shortly undergo a second mastectomy.

Afterwards, she hopes to undergo a breast reconstruction - but in the meantime says she "wouldn't go without" her prosthesis.

"Some people say it wouldn't worry them, but everybody is different and it's a must have piece of equipment for me."

When diagnosed, Ms O'Rourke-Glynn was told she was entitled to a wig up to the value of €750 and said there were members of her family who had never seen her without it.

"It's a time in your life when self-esteem is crucial and a good prosthesis and a decent wig really helps," she said.

Now women like Ms O'Rourke-Glynn are facing a cut of about 50pc in their entitlements - and she said this would be devastating for women who were just about managing financially. Women in her breast cancer support group were very upset, she said.

"There are so many women out there who won't be able to come up with the extra money.

"If you are entitled to a medical card, funds are tight," she pointed out.

She claimed that if it was a male issue, these cutbacks simply would not happen. "It just seems to be easier to attack women and women's causes," she said.

"This is a pittance to allow women to feel 'normal' enough to go to the shops so they feel people aren't staring at them."

Irish Independent

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