This is a general call out to the English speaking community in the Tarn region (and surrounds) for help and information. Please pass it on.
My name is Caroline and I am part of a small group interested in helping to set up an affiliation here in the Tarn region (and perhaps beyond) to the national Cancer Support France (CSF) network. This is a group, that was set up over 10 years ago, to assist English speaking people who are living in France with cancer.
Please check out this link for more information - http://www.cancersupportfrance.org/
I have just come through treatment for breast cancer and though I was lucky enough to have a husband to speak French for me, I contacted CSF once or twice for some information about rights and treatment here in France, and they were extremely helpful. Philippa is also keen to be involved as her husband has just finished treatment for prostate cancer and they feel that there is a need for more support for those with cancer in the English speaking community.
It is such a scary time and can be made increasingly difficult by the language barrier. I must note, the treatment that I am receiving here is second to none and has been quite straight forward, but I have heard of many people who have had a difficult time, due mainly to not understanding what was going on. We feel that there is such a large community of English speakers in this region (I am Irish, so it is not just for ex UK residents!) who could benefit from a group of this kind in our area.
Our nearest CSF group is in Gascony and they are quite happy to assist us in whatever way they can to set up a group here. We are planning to set up a general information evening in the New Year and I am hoping someone from Gascony will be able to attend and give a more in-depth version of how to run a group such as this. This email is just to get a feel of who out there might be interested in being involved.
In Ireland, I was involved with the Irish Cancer Society and fundraising for them and have an idea of how it works. So, I do know it is a tremendous amount of work and we need a committee of dedicated (diplomatic!) people, who are willing to give up their time to get involved. I am not able to chair a committee at this stage of my life, I have just finished treatment, I am still trying to piece back together my life and I have three young children! However, I am certainly willing to help.
Please note, this is not just a fundraising group, even though that is a large part of it. Philippa is already heading up a small group of people who have started to raise money, which will finance the setting up of this group (websites, promotional material, opening bank accounts, travel expenses, running the info evening etc), which is fantastic. You can contact Philippa email@example.com if you'd like to get involved in this side of things. We need all sorts of people to get involved, as I know each person has different qualities and different amounts of time to commit. We want both men and women, all nationalities and all age groups please! Anyone who feels that they can bring something to the table.
So, this is an initial request to see if there are any particular people out there who feel that they can offer something positive to a committee of this nature. Preferably someone with a background that would be sympathetic (and with knowledge) of a group of this kind and also, has the time to give. Perhaps someone who was a medical professional or who was involved with cancer support?
We are also looking for volunteers to help with the more day to day things involved, manning a telephone-support line, translations, bringing patients to the doctor, helping with hospital stays, sitting with those receiving chemotherapy, fundraising and much more. CSF offer excellent training in these areas.
Please contact me by email for more information or to register your interest. Many thanks.