By supporting Q Radiothon you will be making a real difference to the lives of families affected by cancer and terminal illness across Northern Ireland. When Niall Cochrane’s mum, Roisin, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in February last year, it was a difficult time for the whole family. Niall reflects on that time and how he is now focusing his energy on supporting the charity that cared for his mum in the last few weeks of her life.
“When mum was diagnosed it hit us all very hard. She always had health issues, so was never out of the doctors and getting regular check-ups. When the diagnosis came, it wasn’t easy – she was given a year to live and when she took a bad turn in October, she just never recovered.
‘What will be, will be’
“Mum was always so positive about things and when she got diagnosed her attitude was ‘what will be, will be’. She always said there were people worse off and talked about the kids she seen on the news and how it broke heart, the suffering that goes on in the world. I think the family were more upset than she was. She was trying to stay strong for us, as she always did. Mum also had her faith, which helped her enormously. She had been through tragedy before, she lost 3 children in a house fire years ago and had last both her mum and dad in recent years. Because of all this pain, she knew her coping mechanisms and how to deal with things as well as possible.
“Mum died just before Christmas and she had spent the last few months planning for everyone else, buying Christmas presents for the grandchildren and making sure the family would be okay. That was mum, always thinking about others.”
‘Marie Curie Nurses made us feel safe’
“Marie Curie came into our lives during mums last few weeks and the nurses helped enormously. We had nurses that came to our home during both the day and night and they made us feel safe. They provided reassurance that we knew she was getting the best care available and gave the family a break from full time care. By this stage, she was so frail and even things like moving her scared us – having a professional there to help and do things the right way really helped.
‘One marathon isn’t enough!’
“Since mum passed away, the family have been doing lots of fundraising for Marie Curie as a way of saying thank you. This June, I’ll be running 147 miles over a few days – I plan to just keep going and I’ll stop to rest when I need to! Some of the family think I’m mad, but I need to do a big challenge for Mum, just one marathon isn’t enough! I’ve always been into running and Mum always supported my charity work, but would say ‘just don’t push yourself too hard!’ I’ll be finishing the run at the Knock Shrine in Mayo – Mum had always wanted to go and when she got sick, my sisters, Lisa and Sarah, and my Dad, Patrick, brought her. She was so happy, so it seems like a fitting place to cross the finish line. I’m trying to do something good, out of something that was so bad.
‘It just isn’t the same’
“Since mums passing, people often ask me how I am and I just say, it’s not the same. I’ve went to ring mum a few times since she passed and then remembered she’s not here anymore. Special occasions are hard. Last year was our first Christmas without mum and she was always the heart of every family gettogether. Normally we’d all go to mums for Christmas, but we decided to go out last year as it was just too difficult. We’ll make new routines, but we’ll never forget mum – we’ll always talk about her and keep her alive in all our memories.
“Until you see the work that Marie Curie do first-hand, you don’t appreciate how important it is. It’s a horrible time, but the support makes it manageable. Mum always wanted to stay at home and Marie Curie nurses enabled that. I want to say thank you to Marie Curie for everything they did for my mum.”
By supporting Q Radiothon you’ll be making a real difference to the lives of people, like Roisin and Niall, across Northern Ireland. Q Radiothon is committed to supporting people by raising vital funds to support our fantastic charity partners. If you would like to help us make a difference, you can get involved at www.qradiothon.com/fundraising