Organizers of the Daffodil Day collections in Arklow are asking for more support for the annual collection for the Irish Cancer Society as some volunteers have been forced to withdraw due to Covid-19.
Friday March 25th is the first Daffodil Day in two years.
In 2016, Lucy Hayes, along with her husband Sean, began organizing and volunteering at Arklow’s collection when Sean’s brother died of cancer at the age of 49.
“I have 140 volunteers at Arklow and unfortunately this year we lost some of my team members due to Covid,” she said.
“Team members are needed as the day is focused on teamwork and their hard team work.”
Kim Hughes, an Arklow Daffodil Day volunteer, lost her godmother Sarah the “night before her wedding” after a five-year battle with cancer.
She was only 48.
“I was ready to go and booked my full day off but then my son got Covid on Sunday,” Ms Hughes said.
“People started dropping like flies because of Covid and I was devastated.”
Kim’s godmother Sarah was a “wonderful woman” and even raised funds during her cancer journey, prompting Kim to volunteer after her death.
Emer Walsh was “devastated and frustrated” to find out she had contracted Covid-19 over the week.
“The last two years they really needed money and there was nothing they could do,” Emer said.
“I usually take my day off so I can contribute all day and now I feel completely useless.”
Ms Walsh got involved in Arklow Daffodil Day for the first time after the loss of her father in 2017 and witnessed the support of the Irish Cancer Society to her family during her father’s final days.
“When we got to the final stages with Dad, it got a bit scary because none of my family members were medical professionals — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Ms Walsh said.
“A portion of the Daffodil Day fundraising goes to night nurses who stayed with us from 10am to 8am. That gave us peace of mind that Dad was safe and let us sleep.”
Night nurses are just one of many services the Irish Cancer Society offers to families going through the cancer journey and its aftermath.
“I have a friend who lost his partner and left four girls behind, the youngest was two,” Ms Hughes said.
The children are currently in a free consultation arranged by the Irish Cancer Society, she said.
“Some families are in difficult financial situations, it’s a heavy weight to know that these types of services are available,” she added
Arklow Cancer Support is the local cancer support center.
“Arklow Cancer Support is very good at helping people and they need help,” said Anne O’Neil, a former Arklow Daffodil Day Collection volunteer whose sister, mother and father were all affected by cancer.
“The center provides elevators to and from the hospitals for people to keep people comfortable.”
“I think it’s important that people take care of their own town and support their own people,” added Ms. O’Neill.
To volunteer, call 087 2101532.
https://www.independent.ie/regionals/wicklow/news/organisers-plea-for-help-as-arklow-daffodil-day-volunteers-sidelined-by-covid-19-41476083.html Organizers’ plea for help as Arklow Daffodil Day volunteers have been sidelined by Covid-19