Everyone these days has come across cancer; a friend or a relative that has brushed with the dreaded disease. Some have been lucky, others not so lucky. When it visits you in whatever form, it is a scary and bewildering experience and what is needed above all things is support and understanding. I am coming at this from the perspective of my mother who was diagnosed back in late 2011 with cancer and the effect this had on all our family. The story has a huge amount of detail but I want to focus on the care offered to my family (and for my mother toward the end of her life) by all at Milford Hospice. This establishment is an institution in Limerick and the Mid-West region and I would describe the compassion, care and understanding there as a beacon in an otherwise dark time. At all times the staff kept us informed and up to speed on what was taking over our lives and they were compassionate but honest and accurate regarding the likely outcome. Eventually my mother succumbed to the disease but her exit from this life was the most peaceful and spiritual experience I have encountered so far in my own life… and Milford Hospice played a huge part in all of that.
Last week our company, Metis Ireland, gave something back and for me any chance to support Milford Hospice will always be something I grab with both hands. The whole team helped arrange a coffee morning in our office and invited the local businesses to attend and they did so in force. We raised a tidy sum of cash for the Hospice and had a very pleasant morning entertaining our neighbours with coffee and tasty treats. There is always something special about doing something for others and our coffee morning was no different. The general public will always be only too glad to donate and we got monies handed in from people who couldn’t get there on the day.
Then, to continue the theme, I had been asked to operate as Head Marshal for the Milford Hospice 10K which took place in the grounds of UL recently and what an event and experience it turned out to be. The most overwhelming part of this event wasn’t the work involved but the genuine hunger people held for Milford and their willingness to help. We had over 70 people on the team and each wanted to do as much as they could to ensure a successful event. There was no moaning or complaining about anything and nothing was too difficult. This event has become a very important fundraiser for Milford Hospice and is developing into a pretty serious run with over 1400 participants this year. It is held toward the end of January and at a time when New Year’s resolutions are at their peak, so it really works well for all.
The amount of work that goes into an event like this is phenomenal and the fundraising team at Milford had all the groundwork done before we came to help. The event passed off really really well and worked like a well-oiled machine. Without all the assistance given by volunteers and the local services it could not happen, so a huge thank you on behalf of Milford Hospice to all. You guys know who you are. As I mentioned, the participants came in their hundreds and the atmosphere at the start, throughout and at the finish was fantastic, with a real buzz for the duration. Anyone I spoke to at the finish line was on a high and the sense of honesty and satisfaction was in the air. For me it was an absolute privilege to be involved and I can only look forward to future events. I had young volunteers coming up to me afterwards asking how they could help out Milford Hospice in other ways, truly phenomenal stuff.
These are the kind of moments people should experience in their lives and by partaking in these type of events you will get rewards that no amount of money can buy; it truly is real living. I hope this piece gives you some sense of the work that you can do in your community to help others. You will get and give huge satisfaction, so go help out. At Metis Ireland we intend to play our part in our local communities and look forward to future events where we can be a positive influence.