Katherine Dolphin Griffin and Linda Goggin-James

 

WOMEN FIGHTING CANCER HONOURED FOR THEIR WORK

Katherine Dolphin Griffin and Linda Goggin-James are Joint Cork Persons of the Month.

KATHERINE DOLPHIN GRIFFIN.

Midleton-based teacher, cancer survivor and campaigner, Katherine Dolphin Griffin has been chosen as Joint Cork Person of the Month  in honour of her work supporting cancer charities.

Katherine is widely regarded in her local community as a strong role model through her endless campaign work. She is heavily involved in supporting local and national cancer charities researching  life-changing cancer treatments.

In February 2022, Katherine Dolphin Griffin launched her book on World Cancer Day “Hope to Cope” in  aid of the Irish Cancer Society and Marymount. Katherine and her father Joe underwent cancer treatment at the same time. He sadly died on World Cancer Day, February 4th, 2017, having battled for nine years.

Katherine self-published her book to allow as much proceeds as possible to go to cancer charities. Her book documents her journey of perseverance through difficult times of her cancer diagnosis. She has said the book is not one for an exclusive club of cancer survivors but has learnings applicable for people from all walks of life struggling with hardships.

The campaigner was diagnosed back in 2012 with thyroid cancer after experiencing tiredness and a change in her voice, with December 2022 marking 10 years since her diagnosis.

After an overwhelming positive response to her book, the Midleton-based teacher

was able to give back to the hospice where her father died following his battle with cancer by donating two cars to the Cork Hospice.  The funds were 100% raised through sales of her self-published book. The cars will be used for the hospice’s palliative care team.

The Cork woman has raised an incredible €100,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and Marymount Hospice. Katherine is also proudly funding a €50,000 salary for a PhD cancer researcher, which the Irish Cancer Society said would help the fight against the disease. Recently, she was presented with the “Most Positive Impact Award’ at the Club Female Founders Awards in November 2022.  She has now also set up her own organisation “Hope to Cope” which is a network community to support cancer survivors and also is an advocacy to improve services as well as fundraising.

LINDA GOGGIN-JAMES.

Linda Goggin-James, of Cork Cancer Care Centre in Cork City Centre, is our Joint Cork Person of the Month, in recognition of her work at the Centre in supporting the people of Cork through and beyond the trauma of a cancer diagnosis.

Linda, together with a team of volunteers and professionals, offers support, advice and a shoulder to lean on to all those touched by cancer, recognising that mental and emotional healing are as vital for recovery as are the physical treatments.  Those on the cancer journey and their families can receive free counselling as well as a range of holistic therapies such as Reiki, Reflexology, access bars, Integrated Energy Therapy, Indian Head Massage, Lymphatic Drainage, and more, all free of charge.

The Centre also facilitates a peer support group at their premises behind the purple door at 26 St. Paul’s Avenue, off Lavitts Quay in Cork City Centre, where cancer warriors can get and give support and advice, while sharing a cuppa.  In this safe haven friendships are formed, wounds are healed, everyone is welcome, and the kettle always on!  There is no time limit on recovery and people are welcome to attend the Centre for as long as they need to.

Linda, from Ballincollig, started as a volunteer in the Centre in 2014, became General Manager in 2017, and CEO in 2021, and is the heart and soul of the Centre.  She has time for everyone who walks through her door, and ensures each person gets the support they need.  She ensures that the Centre remains a pioneer in the ever-changing suite of programmes it offers.  The Centre runs the only free wig bank in Ireland, providing wigs and fittings to those that need them.  Linda has arranged a Cancer Recovery and Transformational Coaching programme, a Nutrition programme, and also a series of Mindful Movement sessions in a local labyrinth.  Through the Centre’s Blankets of Hope programme, blankets, which are lovingly crocheted and knitted by volunteer groups across Cork, are delivered to patients in oncology wards and radiology units in a number of hospitals around Munster.

In 2022 alone, the Centre provided support for over 200 new cancer patients and their families, provided 483 counselling sessions, 523 holistic therapy sessions, 74 wigs and regular weekly peer support groups and yoga classes throughout the year, all free of charge.  During that year it also donated nearly 2,000 hand-crocheted blankets to cancer patients in hospitals across Cork and Munster.

The Centre depends solely on public fundraising and the generosity of the people to Cork, to continue its vital work.

Gráinne Farren, a Cork Cancer Care Centre Ambassador said “I don’t think I can ever do justice to describing how special Linda Goggin-James and the Centre she runs are, other than to say that they were there for me and so many others during the most vulnerable times of our lives. They have given us some unforgettable memories and experiences and a fresh perspective. Linda has helped to put a smile back on our faces, and to bring back the joy that cancer borrowed. “

Linda Goggin-James thanked the organisers of the Cork Persons of the Month award scheme for this further recognition of their work “Many years ago this award scheme also honoured our late founder Ann Dowley Spillane, when she established the centre in 2012, then called The Girls Club. That positive encouragement and publicity helped to establish us at the time, and we have continued to support the people of Cork and surrounding areas through and beyond the trauma of cancer treatment ever since”.

Katherine Dolphin Griffin and Linda Goggin-James names will now go forward alongside the other monthly winners for possible selection as Cork Persons of the Year at the annual Gala Awards Lunch in January, 2024.