'ARC helped my mother to forget her sickness'

By Brenda McCormick, Sunday, 22nd May 2016 | 0 comments

Stacey Kelly is doing the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for ARC Cancer Support Centre in memory of her mum.

My mam was our hero, she was the strongest woman you will ever meet. She was the rock of our family and unfortunately she past away Dec 28th 2015. She was diagnosed with cancer Christmas 2012 but didn't let that ruin her Christmas she still made dinner for 21 of us only after getting out of hospital the day before Christmas Eve! She never let anybody know she was sick or even in pain, she hid it all so well and she always made sure her family was okay before herself.

It wasn't my mam's first time to have cancer. She was first diagnosed 15 years ago when I was only 12. She had part of her breast removed and got chemotherapy and radiation for months. She got an amazing 12 years and was never sick or in hospital so when she was diagnosed in 2012 we thought the world had ended. She first got lung cancer but they caught it early but six months later it spread to her spine and bones. She had chemotherapy for nearly a year and yet again at Christmas she took sick. It had spread to her liver but she stayed so strong in her mind. She always said, ‘Mr Cancer has a fight on his hands’.

Her strong mindset was all down to the help of ARC Cancer Support Centre - they are like angels. They kept her so strong and never let her give up. She met the most amazing friends there. From the minute you knock on ARC's door you are welcomed with open arms. She got chemotherapy every Monday and matter how sick or tired she was she got out of bed on a Tuesday for ARC. She would be having bad days and come Tuesday evening when she got home from ARC she was like a new woman, full of the big smiles we loved. She said you forget all about your sickness when you’re in there, all the woman and men are in the same boat and it’s there time to forget about it.

No money in the world would ever pay ARC back for the love and support they gave our mam and family. They made her so strong and she brought back the strength to us. She took chemotherapy till the week she died all because of the women making her so strong. They visited her so much in hospital and we would leave them alone with my mam to have their chats. My family and myself know they will welcome us through their doors anytime we need their support. I promised my mam I would always do the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon for ARC. I actually have 13 family and friends doing it this year. We had an amazing day last year, it was great seeing all the different t-shirts for all the charities.

One thing I will say is my mam gave me the strength to fight no matter what is thrown at me. I’ll never be afraid to be as strong as she was and one day I know she will welcome us with open arms to meet her again.