There was a single donation of a €100 cheque, a bag of copper coins to the tune of €33 and a donation from the local school in the make-up of the €700 total which was handed over to the Kerry – Cork Health Link Bus at Headley’s Bridge, Knocknagoshel last weekend.
Eileen and Thomas O’Connor erected a Christmas Crib outside their house at ‘The Bridge’ over the festive season. The encouraging total from the collection box attached to the crib will ensure that it will now become an annual feature of the Christmas season there; tradition has to start somewhere, sometime.
Eileen considers herself a very lucky survivor of breast cancer in the recent past.
“We started the crib idea at Christmas 2012 and got something over €100. We spread the word around through shops and the Post Office this year and we got donations big and small from all over the parish and beyond,” – Eileen O’Connor, Breast Cancer Survivor / Fundraiser.
“I was lucky in that I had family members in a position and willing to take me up and down for treatment to Cork when it was due. While up there I came into contact with many other people from Kerry who were making the trip by the Kerry – Cork Health Link Bus. They were all praise for the service as many of them had no other way of getting up and down. I realised then what a wonderful service it is and I felt that I should do anything I could to support it,” said Eileen.
“We started the crib idea at Christmas 2012 and got something over €100. We spread the word around through shops and the Post Office this year and we got donations big and small from all over the parish and beyond,” she said.
Eileen’s husband, Thomas also said that the crib is now going to be a feature of the festive season around Headley’s Bridge in the future. We see now what it is capable of collecting and the bags of coppers opened our eyes to appeal to people to donate that kind of money which might be lying around in bottles and jars. We’re very grateful to everyone who put a coin or a hundred of them in the collection box. They’ll know now that it’s for a very worthy cause,” said Thomas.
Hour of Need
The O’Connor’s made the presentation to Mary Lynch who accepted on behalf of the Kerry Cancer Support Group.
“We’re delighted with the collection and the effort Eileen and Thomas made here on our behalf. The service is there for people in their hour of need. Getting from their local, designated pick-up points to the gates of the Cork University Hospital and home again – in comfort – is one set of arrangements they won’t have to worry about,” said Ms. Lynch – a fundraising co-ordinator with the Kerry Cancer Support Group.
Figures available for the period from January to the end of December 2012 show that the service provided transport to Cork University Hospital for cancer patients to attend 3,600 appointments for radiotherapy.
The bus service ran right up to and including Christmas Eve and resumed after St. Stephen’s Day. The service was down for two only days in the course of that year. Passenger numbers average 310 per month. The return trip by Bus Éireann would cost an individual €28. Clients are dropped outside the gates of Cork University Hospital and collected there afterwards. This also takes out the need to get a bus or taxi to the bus or rail depot to make the return trip to Kerry.
Bond of Trust
The service has been working with Cork University Hospital for the past few years. A bond of trust has been built up between both transport and treatment providers which in turn benefits patients.
The Kerry Cork Health Link Bus is now providing transport for up to 95% of Kerry patients who need to attend Cork University Hospital for radiotherapy treatment. These figures are provided by Cork University Hospital.
The service is registered as: Kerry Cancer Support Trust Ltd CHY 19048
If you wish to hold a fund-raising event for the Kerry Cancer Support group / Kerry Cork Health Link Bus or contact them – in complete confidence – about a more personal matter their details are: 066 71 95560