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  • Southside

Stars turn out to open ARC’s new Southside centre

Thursday, 6th February, 2020 8:00am
Stars turn out to open ARC’s new Southside centre

Christy Dignam, Mairead Ronan and Brian Fenton pictured with staff at the opening of the new centre in Dublin.

Stars turn out to open ARC’s new Southside centre

Christy Dignam, Mairead Ronan and Brian Fenton pictured with staff at the opening of the new centre in Dublin.

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SOME of Dublin’s leading lights turned out last week to lend their support to the work of ARC Cancer Support Centres.

Aslan’s frontman Christy Dignam, TV and radio star, Mairead Ronan, and Dublin GAA All-Ireland winning hero, Brian Fenton, recently officially opened ARC’s newest Southside centre. 

The centre, located at Lowell House, 23 Herbert Avenue, Dublin 4, joins the ARC family of cancer support centres across Dublin, which includes Eccles Street in Dublin 7, and South Circular Road in Dublin 8.

ARC provides psychological, emotional, educational and practical support, complementary therapies and counselling services, free of charge to people with cancer and their loved ones, friends and carers. 

Last year, more than 2,300 people came through the doors of ARC’s centres, a number that has increased by 27 per cent since 2014. 

The opening of the new centre is one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by ARC to meet growing demand with increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with cancer. 

The new Drop-In Centre will initially be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10am to 4pm, and will also offer a range of services by appointment including counselling, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology.

For Christy Dignam, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, ARC’s services mean a lot to him.

“When you hear something like ‘it’s cancer’, you think you’re on your own. But to be able to go in and talk to someone who understands, who knows where you’re coming from and what you’re going through, it means a lot.

“That’s why I’m delighted to be involved in the official launch of ARC’s latest centre knowing that ARC’s doors will be open to more people than ever before.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, it seemed to me that people were more troubled about it than I was,” he added.

“I just had to accept it, but the people around me were feeling upset for me. That was when ARC came into my life thanks to my oncology nurse. ARC is different.

“It not only helps the person with cancer, but their families too, and it’s free.”

For Mairead Ronan, ARC is like a ‘home from home’ that was a huge support to her mum Maureen following her cancer diagnosis, as well as to her dad Robert and, indeed, herself.

“Being involved with ARC Cancer Support Centres is something that I have wanted to do for a long time,” she said.

“My mum sadly passed away in 2001. For years, it was still so very raw to me, but now I feel that much stronger to be able to lend my support.

“ARC was very good, not only to my mum during her illness but also to my dad in supporting him to take care of himself as well as mum. 

“RC was there too for me, offering me complementary therapies, and helping to take away some of the scariness at what was a very emotional and turbulent time. 

“For me, hospitals are focused primarily on treating the physical side of cancer, whereas ARC is focused on treating a different side of cancer, the real human side.

“It’s all about you, the person that’s been diagnosed with cancer, along with your family and friends, and helping you to get through it. ARC is like a home from home.”

For Dublin GAA hero, Brian Fenton, ARC offered a place of respite from the outside world for his mum following her diagnosis and treatment for cancer.

“My late mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and she benefited greatly from the services provided by ARC,” Brian said.

“She would always speak so highly of the staff and for her it gave her such a supportive outlet during the struggles of cancer and its treatment.

“ARC was somewhere that she could go to talk about what she was going through and we as a family are forever grateful for the support it provided to us all during such a difficult time. It really is an amazing place.”

For Deirdre Grant, Chief Executive, ARC Cancer Support Centres, it’s important to have the supports in place for the increasing numbers of people developing cancer.

“One in two people will develop cancer at some stage, and there are more than 40,000 new cases diagnosed each year.”

ARC Cancer Support Centres ambassador, TV and radio presenter, Mairead Ronan.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here