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02 Oct 2022

Tipperary woman who lost two siblings to cancer makes coffee morning appeal

Tipperary woman who lost two siblings to cancer makes coffee morning appeal

Ber Slattery whose two siblings died from cancer is asking Tipperary people to host a coffee morning for the hospice

Losing two siblings to cancer at a young age inspired one Tipperary hospice volunteer to devote herself to a remarkable fundraising blitz which has lasted three decades.

Ber Slattery from Nenagh has been running coffee mornings for North Tipperary Hospice Movement since its inception - and is proud of helping to fundraise almost €500,000 which is needed each year to help maintain local services.

Now she is asking everyone to register to host their own fundraiser on Thursday, September 22, as part of the Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning Social for Hospice.

The nationwide event, which has raised over €41.5m since 1992, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Ber held one of her first coffee mornings in her own home when Bewley’s came on board to sponsor the event.

“The services are vital to people in our area and allows them the care they need to pass away outside a hospital setting, either in the familiar surroundings of their own home or in the care of the Milford Hospice,” she said.

Ber was a huge community activist, involved with Nenagh Arts Centre and in summer camps for people with special needs when she was asked to be a committee member to establish hospice services in the area.

Funds raised locally stay local and go back into each local hospice service, helping to pay for medical and general staff, palliative care beds, home care visits, specialist equipment and new hospice builds.

Through the generosity of the people of north Tipperary, the organisation never fails to reach its fundraising target.

Ber has always known the incredible care that hospice services give, but the huge importance they play really dawned on her when her siblings developed terminal cancer.

“My sister, Ann, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1997. My parents were elderly so I brought her to my own house to die with the help of North Tipperary Hospice Services.

“She was only 34 years of age, and being able to die in familiar surroundings was allowing her make some decisions that weren't outside her control,” said Ber.

Then her brother, Joe, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died at the age of 44, leaving two children behind. Again, he was able to pass away peacefully with family around him, thanks largely to hospice care.

“I’ve seen how the wonderful staff in the hospice bring individuality to death. Often, people who are dying feel everything is outside their control, but the Hospice Care Services fulfil, as much as possible, the wishes of each patient,” she said.

Register to host a coffee morning on September 22, or on a date that suits you at hospicecoffeemorning.ie or call-save 0818-995996.

Hosts are provided with a free coffee morning pack containing Bewley’s coffee, posters and invitations.

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