Carrickmacross Cancer Society Chairman, Pat Drury welcomed over a hundred people to the Annual Public Information Meeting in the Shirley Arms Hotel on Thursday, April 7th at 8pm. In his opening address Pat sympatised with members of the audience who had lost relatives and friends in the last twelve months. He expressed his appreciation to all the dedicated fundriasers and donors who provided money to enable the Society to continue to support in a very practical way people in the community living with cancer. He then introduced Michael Mc Mahon,the Society Assistant Secretary, to outline the structure of Carrickmacross Cancer Society. (CCS)
Michael traced the origins of CCS from November 24th 1986 when a small group got together to raise money to help a friend pay for a particulaly expensive cancer treatment. After the friend lost a brave battle with the disease it was decided to use the unspent money to help other people in the Community. A constitution with clear guidlines and rules for the conduct of the Society was drawn up and submitted for legal review to solicitor Enda O’ Carroll. The Constitution was accepted in 1992 by the Revenue Commissioners and charity status was granted. While the membership of the Society has changed over the years the basic structure remains the same. Unfortunaly Mary Kirk and Pat Ward, two former Committee Members, have gone to their eternal rewards RIP. As other members left the society for one reason or another, new members were co-opted. Client confidentiality is thus maintained and is an absolute component of the Society operation.
Pauline O’ Hagan, who was a member of the inaugural group is still a member and is the current Honorary Secretary. Pat Drury is Chairman, Pauline Fox is Treasurer. Pauline gets considerable assistance from husband Jim in counting coins and keeping financial records. Marian Maggs is P.R.O and takes care of equipment provision and maintenance with help from Reggie & David Maggs. Michael, who as well as Assistant Secretary helps out in other ways as required, emphasised that no committee member is paid or remunerated apart from getting out of pocket expenses or costs incurred. The accounts are professionally audited annually by David Mc Sharry & Co and submitted to the Revenue Commissioners. Carrickmacross Cancer Society is registered with the Charity Regulatory Authority and details are published on the Authority Website.
The Committee Members do not actively participate in fundraising themselves. They rely on funds raised by individuals and groups in Carrickmacross, Corduff-Raferagh, Inniskeen, Donaghmoyne, Broomfield, Lisdoonan, Killanny, Magheracloone and all places in between. Some money is also raised through PayPal. Fundraising events for 2016 include The Friends of Carrick Cancer former greats football match on Saturday, April 16th in Corduff, the North East Truck Fest on Saturday April 30th and Sunday May 1st in Lisdoonan Centre and the Border Counties Grassmen countrywide tractor drive October 23rd to 30th inclusive. For information on those and other events see www.carrickmacrosscancer.ie or check out on Facebook.
Pauline O’ Hagan then addressed the meeting. She highlighted the value of the professional service provided by local taxi drivers. She made particular mention of the variety of ways the drivers help those they take to and from appointments in a variety of caring and meaningful ways.
In her Treasurer’s Report Pauline Fox reported an expenditre of 160,000 euros for the year. While expenditure exceeded income last year the Society is in a good financial position to meet claims as they arise thanks to the great fundraisers.
Marian Maggs reported on another successful National Daffodil Day on March 11th and thanked all who sold flowers and pins.
Guest Speaker Dr. Kieran Mc Mahon in a most informative talk outlined details of a variety of cancers both from a G.P’s prospective and what patients should look out for themselves. He described signs and symtoms in clear language that we should look out for – examples; change in moles, spots that don’t heal up or bleed easily, soars that last for some time , lumps and pains etc. He strongly advised people to go to their doctor if they suspect something unusual.
Dr Mc Mahon emphasised that to reduce the risk of getting cancer we should not smoke. We should avoid sun exposure. We should drink alcohol in moderation or not at all. We should take 20 mins exercise that gets the heart pumping well every day. We should eat a healthy diet, including fruit and vegetables and cut down on red meat. We should watch our weight. We should be aware of heriditary cancers in our families. When we get to a certain age or are in designated risk categories we should have regular tests and scans.
The meeting concluded with the Chairman Pat Drury reminding people that Carrickmacross Cancer Society also has links with the Gary Kelly Centre, Drogheda for counselling and other services.
Finger food and beverages were then served and some cheque presentation photos taken.
He introduced Doctor Kieran Mc Mahon as the guest speaker for the night. Before Kieran