Ballydown church sets up cancer support group

Personal experiences have led some members of Ballydown Presbyterian church to develop a Cancer Support Group.

Adrian Hale
Adrian Hale

The first meeting of the Group will take place on Saturday May 7, 2022 in Ballydown Presbyterian Church starting at 11am until 12.30pm.

The Group is called Side by Side and aims to provide support to those diagnosed with cancer,

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Adrian Hale, who helped to set up Side by Side, has shared his experience of cancer and the importance of having support during a difficult time.

“I got involved in setting up Side by Side as I was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer over three years ago,” explained Adrian.

“I went through chemo, surgery and further chemo and my life has changed, but I am very thankful to God that I am here today.

“I am also thankful for the support I received from my wife, family, friends and members of Ballydown Presbyterian Church.

“From the first time I heard I had cancer I decided that I needed to give something back so that others could learn from my experience.

“That is why I feel excited and privileged to be part of this new Support Group and pray that people of all faiths, or none, will be come along and gain support from others.”

A spokesperson for the group said: “Few communities or families are untouched by the reality of cancer these days.

“In fact, statistics show that 1,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer every day and has no respect for age.

“Given advances in medicine, a lot of people can be cured from cancer and resume normal lives. However, many more now live with cancer for many years, often with regular medication and with considerable problems and limitations to normal life. Sadly, many people of all ages don’t make it through the journey.

“If you have been diagnosed with cancer, or are close to someone that has received this news, sometimes those who have already been through a similar condition can offer support in an understanding way and that’s what we aim to provide.

“Whilst we acknowledge that the medical teams are fantastic and there are several charities doing a lot of good work in supporting those with cancer, we want to be able to provide a Christian based, comfortable place to meet together, hear from professionals, chat, pray, cry and find hope for the days ahead.”

The first meeting of Side by Side will take place on Saturday May 7 at Ballydown Presbyterian Church, 151 Castlewellan Road, Banbridge, BT32 4JP.

Future meetings will be on Saturday June 11, Saturday August 13, Saturday October 8, and Saturday December 10, 2022.

The spokesperson for Side by Side added: “You don’t need to book as we understand that when you are going through treatment it may be hard to make plans very far in advance, but if you are able, please come along you will be made very welcome.”

For further information visit www.ballydown.net or the Ballydown Presbyterian Church Facebook page.