THE Mercy Hospital Foundation’s Christmas Appeal will see an envelope containing a tea bag and appeal letter fall through the post boxes of homes around Munster in the coming weeks. Why does it contain a tea bag you ask? Well, The Mercy Hospital Foundation invites you to make a cup of tea for yourself and take a moment to think about what is really important in life this Christmas.
As the old saying goes, there’s not a lot that a cup of tea can’t solve, but unfortunately, this does not extend to cancer. And that’s why the Mercy Hospital Foundation needs you. Imagine being thrown head-first into a world where nothing feels familiar, a world where life doesn’t feel right or real. That’s what it’s like when cancer makes its way into a family. Normal day-to-day routine is replaced with countless days of tests, scans, appointments, side effects, treatments, results. This new world is scary, unfair, and painful; and it’s even harder at Christmas time.
The team in St. Therese’s Oncology Ward in the Mercy University Hospital try to do everything they can to help cancer patients and their families through what can be the most challenging of times, and this Christmas you can help too by donating to the Mercy Cancer Appeal.
Martina Murphy and Maria Murphy have been working on St. Therese’s Ward since it opened in 2001, and in those 15 years they have met hundreds of cancer patients and their families, who have experienced their kindness – and their offer of a cup of tea!
Maria said “I work the night shift in St. Therese’s. I find that as the lights are dimmed and people settle down for the night, the happenings of the day all seem to play on their troubled minds. The chemo fatigue, scan results, maybe being told news they hoped they wouldn’t hear. I find a listening ear and the familiarity of a cup of tea can make all the difference at a time like this. I suppose there is something so comforting and homely about the cup of tea that tells them, yes everything just might be alright after all.”
Martina reiterated Maria’s sentiments, saying “It never gets easy seeing new people arrive at the ward for treatment. I can see how scared they are and how uncertain they feel. But it does get easier for patients and their families. And in the time it takes me to remember exactly how they like to take their tea, they’re already getting used to the place! I’ve given cups of tea to so many people over the years – to patients who’ve no appetite because of their treatment, the thought of food can make them so sick but a cup of tea can often do the trick; to anxious partners; to devoted parents who will not leave their child’s bedside; to relieved siblings who are thrilled to hear good results; to families surrounding their loved one’s deathbed hoping against hope that things will change; and to patients waiting for their world to feel right again.”
Funds raised through the Mercy Christmas Appeal will be used to purchase life-saving equipment to diagnose and treat patients; help provide services such as counselling to patients and their loved-ones; to provide psycho-oncology services that are vital to patients struggling to come to terms with their cancer diagnosis; and to provide assistance to families that simply cannot make ends meet when cancer forces them to give up work.
The Mercy Christmas Appeal is generously supported by Lyons Tea, who donated the tea bags for the appeal envelopes.
Micheál Sheridan, CEO, Mercy Hospital Foundation said “Our mission is to inspire people to support advancements in research, diagnosis, treatments and care of patients at The Mercy University Hospital, the People’s Hospital. We promise to do our very best to provide you with a world class hospital, right on your doorstep, and this is only possible through the help of our supporters and donors like those who dig deep and support our annual Christmas Appeal. Please keep an eye out for the Lyons tea bag enclosed in the envelope reaching you soon, make a cup of tea for yourself and take a moment to think about what is really important in life this Christmas.”
For more information on The Mercy Christmas Appeal or to make a donation call (021) 4274076 or visit www.mercyfundraising.ie.