‘Roe Valley Friends Indeed’ – growing in strength

The well worn saying “a friend in need is a friend indeed” couldn’t be more apt when it comes to a newly formed group in the Roe Valley.

Set up back in February by Michelle McCartney, Joan McAteer and the late Lourdes Cruz, ‘Roe Valley Friends Indeed’ was “born out of a need for a cancer support group in the borough”. Since its establishment the strength of the group has flourished and, not just in terms of numbers attending.

Open to anyone who wants to come along, Michelle McCartney says the group is all about being positive and supporting anyone with a cancer diagnosis with the rights skills to cope – emotionally and physically.

The group meets every second Tuesday from 10am to 12 noon in the relaxed setting of the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural in Limavady.

When they are not taking yoga classes, the group is keen to get out and about and go on regular walks in the Roe Valley Country Park, or on shopping trips or other activities.

“The group is about turning cancer around so we develop a new normal for us,” says Michelle, adding she would really love to see more men come along.

“Here we have the friendship element. It doesn’t matter when your diagnosis was, the important thing is helping one another to fight it and survive it.”

Glack woman, Donna Logue loves coming to the group, which she describes as uplifting with the bonus that it’s literally on her doorstep.

“Everyone is so friendly here and that’s great and I’ve met new friends too,” she said.

Limavady woman Isobel McLaughlin said what’s special about the group is the camaraderie and the positive attitudes that are prevalent.

“I really look forward to it every two weeks and I’ve made new friends and it’s a great support,” she said.

“If people want to come and talk about their situation, great, but there is never any pressure on anyone. There’s no pressure on people to attend all the time either.

“You can come when it suits you. It’s more about focusing on a positive lifestyle and making the most of everyday, and it’s good craic too!”