AN INSPIRATIONAL woman who has out-lived a life expectancy of just six months has praised the work of Marie Curie’s Helper Service initiative.
65-year-old Carol Perry was told by doctors that she had just six months to live – three years on from when she discovered she had cancer in her lungs, liver and chest in 2011.
Carol, who was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and was told by her doctor that she had six months to live in October 2014.
However she retained a positive attitude and the support of her family, partner and ‘helper’ Emma Mutton has helped her make the most of everyday.
The Helper Service initiative ensures people living with terminal illness can harvest new ways of getting joy from their life by meeting new people who can help talk about their problems.
The initiative comes just weeks prior to Wasps home game against Northampton, where the rugby club will be raising vital funds for the Solihull-based charity.
The 65-year-old said: “Emma and I clicked right away, she’s fantastic.
“It’s nice having someone to talk to – I think sometimes you can’t talk to your family because it upsets them.
“My family know what’s wrong with me and they know that I haven’t got long but we don’t often talk about the cancer.
“I know I’m dying but I don’t act as if I am.
“Emma puts herself out to come to my home and give me her time – she’s helped me tremendously.”
Emma, from Solihull, joined the Helper Service for two reasons – Marie Curie Nurses cared for her grandma at home before she died and to provide her with practical experience in support of her university application to become a nurse.
The 39-year-old said: “It inspires me seeing Carol.
“When I’m having a bad day I go over there and think, ‘this lady really is in her last weeks of life’.
“It’s just very rewarding knowing that you’ve brightened somebody’s day.
“I can’t explain it, it’s very satisfying and a good feeling knowing that you’re helping someone, providing that emotional support and companionship for them.”
David Armstrong, group chief executive officer of Wasps, said Carol and Emma’s friendship is an inspirational story which underlined the fantastic work carried out every day by Marie Curie.
He added: “Since we announced that our home match against Northampton Saints would be raising awareness and funds for Marie Curie, the response we have received has been hugely positive.
“We have a wide range of fundraising activities organised on Sunday (April 3) to support the work Marie Curie does to help people with terminal illnesses at its hospice in Solihull and in the community across the Midlands.
“The support of Emma and all the other volunteers can’t be under-estimated and we hope as many Wasps and Saints supporters as possible will join in our fundraising campaign.”
Tickets for Wasps v Northampton Saints are available from £15 for adults and under-10s go free.
Visit www.justgiving.com/thestinger to make a donation to Marie Curie.