independent

Wednesday 27 March 2019

ROCS provides support at every step of the way

MARIA HERLIHY

THE first step for a person who has cancer or is a survivor is to feel comfortable and at ease talking about their journey.

At the Reach Out Cancer Support (ROCS) group in Millstreet such a person will be made feel at ease and, of course, enjoy a welcoming cup of tea and few slices of banter along the way.

Mairead Daly who is the chairman of ROCS told The Corkman that quite often the first, most difficult step for a person who has cancer is to go to their first gathering. She explained that since the group formed in December 12 there are now 18 members, and growing.

"We support the person who is affected by cancer and who wants to talk and open up," Mairead explained, "but equally so to a person who wants to chat about their mom, dad, brother, sister or friend who has cancer and how it is affecting them.

"This is a truly open forum, where we can talk, meet and chat. There is no pressure and a person can go at their own speed and pace."

Mairead said that she was "thrilled" that the Aubane Social Club held their amazing fancy dress ball for them this year.

She said that in their group they welcome people directly and indirectly affected with cancer. In their groups, they have had some wonderful social nights, where guest speakers talked about the importance of diet and they have also had a reiki massage night.

Mairead and her friend Michelle both felt it was important to have ROCS right on their own doorstep. Mairead had been travelling to Cork city to a support group but felt the journey was tiring, especially as she had been going through treatment. The next logical step, was to organise and set up a group in Duhallow.

"I feel you have to go through a situation yourself to truly know what it is you are talking about. For example, a person could say to me how the treatment left them with a pain in their leg or hand, and you would know exactly what they are talking about.

"There is great comfort in talking," she said.

She said the groups volunteers are "simply amazing". The volunteers bring people to the hospital for their treatment and wait for them, and bring them home, as well as giving words of encouragement or just a comforting cup of tea. Drivers are only paid fuel expenses and for parking tickets.

This service is all carried out in the strictest of confidence - as are all procedures within the group.

"We had one lady who was too unwell and needed to have her windows washed. Well, our volunteers turned up and did exactly that," Mairead said. "These things are very important for a person when they are unwell."

Recently, the group enjoyed a day trip to Arc House Cancer Support Group Cork, where members availed of counselling, holistic and various alternative sessions.

Mairead also employs her hairdressing skills for ROSC members.

Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month in the Adult Learning Centre, Bridge Street, Millstreet from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For further information, call Mairead Daly 087 9031475.

Corkman

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