A young Maghera family who recently lost their mum to cancer has spoken of the great comfort the family received at Charis Cancer Care. Mum of three, Frances McCabe, was among the 6,000 people who regularly used Charis Cancer Care since the centre opened eight years ago. Her son Cahir and two daughters, Aoife and Roisin, visited the centre last month to help the Charis team kick off fundraising efforts to secure finance for recently approved expansion plans.
The charity which supports people in Northern Ireland affected by cancer will almost double the size of its centre as it aims to offer greater numbers of cancer patients and those impacted by cancer, complementary support and therapies. Since losing their mum, the young McCabe family have found peace at Charis House and are firm believers that Charis is one of Northern Ireland’s hidden gems for people who find themselves on this journey.
Cahir says: “Mum was first diagnosed with cancer in May 2016. She used a number of the services on offer at Charis. My dad had passed away a number of years ago. I was at Ulster University (Magee) and my sisters were both at school at the time. It was reassuring to know that my mum and friends could come here and enjoy the services. We knew it was her time, that she could relax and that she was in good hands”.
Aoife adds: “It is such a special place, somewhere you can be alone, take time out to think or simply talk to other people who are on a similar journey. From a family perspective, we have found Charis to be amazing. Having lost both parents, coming to Charis holds a special place in our hearts as we know mum was happy here and we feel close to her when we visit. We enjoy the warm welcome that awaits every visit and this is what makes Charis unique. Many people are unaware that Charis provides bereavement services to family members, in addition to supporting people who are affected by cancer.”
Roisin explains: “The diagnosis was a shock initially. It was a tough time for us as a family but we learned to cope with it. Charis is a great place to visit. You can get all the little bits of information you need. You can also just sit and have a cup of tea and a chat with someone who knows what it is like. The location is idyllic.”