Saturday 24 March 2018

'I call it friendship through flowers'

May Ryan
May Ryan

Arlene Harris

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

"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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