Inspired by the tireless work of Derry’s Pink Ladies, a new male only city wide cancer support group - the self-titled Pink Panthers - are asking men who’ve been affected by cancer to come forward for support, advice and understanding.
The Pink Ladies will help co-ordinate the group which is being facilitated by Hazelbank based community health expert Margaret Cunningham.
Karen Mullan from the Pink Ladies says the concept is a first for Derry and believes it will fill a big gap in services here.
“More and more in recent years we’ve been approached by men when carrying out sessions on behalf of the Pink Ladies,” says Karen.
“We were hearing about men who’d been diagnosed but also men who’d lost their wives to the illness and a lack of men’s cancer services in general. Men are generally reluctant to discuss their health and they don’t meet in the same social way that women do. We want this group to help change that and the hope is that men will come forward and ask questions from others who’ve been through similar situations.”
Margaret Cunningham, who has organised the first group events for the founding members of the ‘Pink Panthers’ believes there are many more men who could benefit.
“We’re meeting on the last Thursday of every month and it’s about creating a comfortable space where men can relax and talk to one another. We’ve already had a fishing trip and we’ll be organising much more like that.
“We’re putting a call out to men from across the North West to get in touch for support during one of the biggest challenges of their lives.”
Contact the Pink Ladies on 07568588124 or Margaret in 02871 370196 for more information.
Don’t miss Sunday’s Journal for exclusive interviews with the Pink Panthers members photographed about their own health journies.