Mary Callanan wins a Sunflower Hospice Hero award for her work with cancer sufferers
Mary Callanan from Bouladuff has been awarded a ‘Sunflower Hospice Hero’ award for her outstanding dedication to North Tipperary Hospice (Thurles Branch).
Mary, mother of renowned Tipp hurler Seamus Callanan, is described as ‘one in a million’ and was among 23 volunteers across the country recognised for their contribution to hospice care during the national launch of Hospice Sunflower Days.
This annual fundraiser for the hospice movement in Ireland is taking place on Friday, June 9th and Saturday, June 10th. It is hoped €1million will be raised.
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) coordinates the event on behalf of the hospice movement including North Tipperary Hospice. All funds raised locally, stay locally.
A spokesperson for North Tipperary Hospice said: “Mary is one of the kindest, most generous, most pleasant people you could meet. She has a fantastic personality with the most infectious laugh. She is well known to make people happy by just being in her company. Among her many, many gifts and talents is her ability to accept people as they are and she never ever has a bad word to say about anyone.Mary has been involved in North Tipperary Hospice since it was founded back in 1990. She involved herself in a sub-committee at that time working tirelessly fundraising. She has never relented from being involved and is now on the board of North Tipp Hospice. Mary is one of the founding members of Suir Haven Cancer Support Centre and is totally committed to the successful running of that centre.
Mary is the most unselfish, willing and active fundraiser one could imagine. She has never been heard to say no to attend any function involving North Tipperary Hospice. She is just one in a million with no job too big or too small. Mary’s dad Jim died of cancer many years previous to having any home care services.”
A national survey commissioned by the IHF revealed that 75% of Irish people want to die at home – however only one in four get to do so. This is where Sunflower Days funds will help with the provision of hospice services in your area.
Speaking at the launch, RTE’s Mary Kennedy said: “Hearing the heroes’ stories today was inspiring. The feeling of human kindness was tangible and their dedication uplifting. Without the commitment of these men and women end of life would have been very different for many people and loved ones. I’m encouraging everyone to support Sunflower Days. By simply buying a sunflower from one of our volunteers you are helping to bring comfort and dignity to people at end of life.”
Pat Quinlan, Chief Executive Officer of Milford Care Centre and Chair of the Voluntary Hospices Group, continued: “People matter and Hospice Care improves the lives of many who have a life-limiting condition in allowing them to live their lives as fully as possible right up to the moment of death. Hospice care is also about supporting families and loved ones up to and through bereavement in what is clearly a most challenging period in their lives. Thousands of people receive hospice care annually and funds raised through Sunflower Days helps meet this growing need. Hospices therefore are more reliant than ever on the goodwill of wonderful supporters and volunteers.
“We are asking people to please support their local hospice service so that patients and families can get help at a time of greatest need. Sunflower Days is a vital source of funding for local hospice services and every Euro received can make a difference so please donate or if you have a few hours to spare please consider volunteering for your local hospice on the day.”
IHF Andy Caffrey, Acting CEO said volunteers are the iron will that keep local hospices going. “Local hospices fill a need in society. Their impact is immeasurable. Hospices rely on public goodwill to deliver their services. Hospice Sunflower Days is a countrywide opportunity to help your local group mind your community. We are very proud to be coordinating Hospice Sunflower Days for the past 27 years,” he said.
People can support their local hospice service on June 9th and 10th by purchasing various pieces of Sunflower merchandise – including sunflower pins for €2 each from collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages across Ireland.
For more information on how to volunteer with your local hospice service for Hospice Sunflower Days visit www.sunflowerdays.ie or email Maria McGrath firstname.lastname@example.org.