A Carrick woman has told of her positive experience at a Whitehead-based respite service ahead of a fundraising walk in October.
Mum-of-two Lyndsey Haighton, 31, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
And next month, she will be joining fellow Carrick resident Dawn McConnell in a trek up Belfast’s Black Mountain.
The walk will be a symbolic venture for the duo, who are both about to complete their respective cycles of cancer treatment.
It aims to highlight awareness and generate much needed funds for Hope House Ireland.
The charity was founded by Dawn and her husband Roy in 2014 and provides accommodation in a peaceful seaside setting for those going through treatment and their partner or carer.
Lyndsey and her husband Thomas are just some of those who have benefitted from the services offered by the home-away-from-home.
“During chemotherapy, Thomas and myself arranged a weekend in the beautiful Hope House,” Lyndsey said. “We spent the weekend resting, reading and recuperating from our crazy lives of looking after two children, Thomas working full time, and attending hospital appointments. It was just what we both needed.
“I’m hoping to raise money for this fabulous charity but also kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month by encouraging young women like myself to self-examine regularly.”
A routine mammogram also detected Dawn’s breast cancer at a very early stage. “I cannot stress enough how important it is for women to attend the breast screening appointments and to check their breasts regularly,” she said.
The Black Mountain route was one that Dawn had vowed to conquer during the difficult days of her treatment.
“I wanted to stand at the top and be able to shout cancer is under my feet - and that day is here,” Dawn said. “My family are joining me to help raise funds, to encourage people that there is life after cancer, and to make people aware of our service. This celebration is going to be all the more special because Lyndsey and Thomas will be coming along with me.”
To make a donation to Dawn and Lyndsey’s efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/dawnandlyndsey