By Bejay Browne
FIVE families in Paphos with members receiving cancer treatment are in desperate need of food and an appeal is being made by a local charity for donations.
Rachel Grainger-Christou is one of the three nurses who provides specialist nursing care for cancer patients through the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF) and said that the families were in need of help to bridge the gap until various benefit applications which have been made to the government are granted.
“As part of our job we undertake homecare nursing (similar to Macmillan Nurses in the UK) and get to know our patients and their families well. This is a temporary solution to try and help these people through what is already a difficult time in dealing with their cancer.”
The nurse said that volunteers from the cancer patients support group Paphos (CPSG) which was set up to help PASYKAF by providing financial assistance and donating medical equipment towards the home care nursing services in Paphos, have already brought in generous donations to the centre. These have been given to the families in need and were greatly appreciated.
“Hopefully in the next few weeks these people will receive money from sick pay, early pensions and other benefits from the state, but until then we would like to be able to help them. The added stress of how to feed your family on top of dealing with their cancer is a great strain.”
The idea to help initially came from a previous patient who suggested that she would like to donate shopping items directly to PASYKAF families, rather than leaving them in collection baskets at her local supermarket.
Grainger-Christou said that fresh produce including salad items, fruit and vegetables, bread, butter and eggs were most welcome and could be kept overnight in the fridge at the PASYKAF day centre in Paphos. “We are asking that donations be made on Thursdays and they will be delivered to the families on Fridays.”
The nurses will also use their discretion to decide which families are in greatest need of this assistance, she said.
Other staples such as dry goods and canned items were also needed. In addition, food vouchers for butcher shops and supermarkets are also needed. This will enable families to buy what they need, she said.
However, the nurse stressed that no cash donations for the families could be accepted, as the cancer charity doesn’t hand out money.
“As we said in the beginning this is not a permanent arrangement and may not happen every week and this was also explained to the patients too. If anyone has anything they can offer from their weekly shop, it would be most appreciated.”
PASYKAF and Paphos cancer patients support group day care centre and office – 84 Ellados Avenue, Paphos 26952478