Local woman makes cards to improve health

A local woman who makes greeting cards has said it has helped to improve her mental health, particularly during lockdown.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 10:45 am
Mrs Linda Kivlehan pictured, in her home, with some of the greeting cards she made during the Covid 19 lockdown. DER2125GS - 001
Mrs Linda Kivlehan pictured, in her home, with some of the greeting cards she made during the Covid 19 lockdown. DER2125GS - 001

Linda Kivlehan, who has MS and has been a wheelchair user for a number of years, began making cards around 20 years ago when she attended Glenbrook Day Centre.

Linda, who lives in Cornshell Fields, stopped making the cards for a long time and took it up again a couple of years ago.

She now hopes to sell the cards that she has put so much time, love and effort into.

Linda is originally from England, but moved to the city after she married a Derry man in 1989. She was married to her husband Jim for just a year and a half before she was diagnosed with MS.

“I fell pregnant with my daughter and the pregnancy and birth were good, but afterwards I was straight into a wheelchair. My MS just went downhill. I can’t use my legs and one of my arms and I need carers to help me.”

As time went on Linda began to have mental health issues and she said her carers have helped make a huge difference to her life.

“I was struggling with my mental health and I just didn’t want to get out of bed. My carers, from Advanced Care Services, have made a world of difference to us. They really have changed our lives.

“They help me do my cards, some of the carers help me cut the pieces out. I buy the design from a company and then I build my cards up.”

The feedback Linda has got from her cards has helped improve her mental health.

“A lot of people have told me you couldn’t pay for cards like this elsewhere,” Linda said. “I started using Instagram so people can see the cards that I make.

“I enjoy doing it so much and there are cards suitable for all ages and celebrations.”

Linda said making the cards has been particularly helpful during lockdown.

“It gave me something to focus on. I actually had Covid after going into respite last year and Jim had it too, but thankfully we were both alright.”

Linda has made dozens of cards over the last 16 months and her work can be viewed at www.instagram.com/lindascards77