A local woman who is living with cancer has spoken of her joy at being able to take part in the Brides Across The Bridge event she never thought she would see.
Marie Mooney said she never expected to get the chance to don a wedding dress with hundreds of other local ladies at the massive event after being forced to watch from the sidelines last year.
The 55-year-old from the Springtown area, and formerly of Southway, has been coming to the Foyle Hospice day centre every week for the past five months.
She praised staff and patients at the centre and described the hospice as a life-line for people suffering the physical and mental battle that comes with cancer.
Speaking about the Brides Across the Bridge event, which takes place at 3.30pm on Saturday, July 5th from the Guildhall, mother-of-five (and grandmother to seven with another on the way) Ms Mooney said:
“I wasn’t fit last year for it. I saw everyone doing it and thought I’d love to be doing that.
“I’m really looking forward to putting on the dress. I feel that I am lucky to be able to put on the dress. I just feel I am lucky to be here at all because I had myself dead and buried. I had my songs picked and the way I wanted to be laid out.
“Both my parents died of cancer and my mother died in the hospice at 56. She had breast cancer and it went to the brain. She got the best care here.
“I myself have had radiotherapy in Leeds in January past and that shrunk the brain tumour to a third of what it was. I was getting checked there recently and it hasn’t moved. Thank God it is the same size.
“It started as lung cancer and I had two thirds of my lung removed.
“Before I wasn’t getting out of bed, now I’m getting up, getting ready, getting down here.”
Marie said that she was delighted to be able to fund raise for the Hospice.
“It is a great tonic coming down here every week. I don’t know what I would do without it. I am not even the same woman since I came here. I have seen myself coming on great, really coming out of myself. The nurses are brilliant, every one of them, all the staff, the food is beautiful and you can get your hair, your nails done, even your feet done.
“The craic is ninety. I would encourage anybody that is in any way suffering from any form of cancer, this is the place to come.”
The friends Marie has made include Ann Harrigan, who as it turns out was Marie’s former neighbour at the top of Southway.“I didn’t even know Ann was here when I came down but there she was and we have great craic,” she said.
To register online for the Brides Across The Bridge go to www.foylehospice.com or go to the Foyle Hospice Shop in your area. Registration costs £10.