HELPING OLDER PEOPLE: Sure Start to Later Life
After waking up after a cancer op with no memory or speech, a young Widnes woman is helping older people in Halton remember what it's like to have someone who cares about them.
Alishia-Carin Dwyer, now 27, with pancreatic cancer, is volunteering with Halton Borough Council befriending an elderly woman for a regular telephone chat as part of Sure Start to Later Life.
Even though she has all this to contend with - she even had to re-learn how to speak - she is keen to give back to the community and help as many people as she can along the way.
Alishia-Carin was studying for a degree in forensic science when she first began to feel ill. She received the devastating diagnosis of pancreatic cancer just five days before her 21st birthday.
Alishia-Carin, who lives in Widnes, with now fiancé Matthew McDonough, 28, still recalls her traumatic moment where she first received her shocking diagnosis.
She said: “I still remember the moment I was diagnosed so clearly. I felt completely numb.
"At first, I refused to believe it, saying ‘No, this isn’t happening to me. When the doctors said, ‘I’m so sorry, but it is,’ I just started screaming.”
"The reason why I wanted to get involved with Sure Start to Later Life is because especially in times like this we need someone to talk to and personally I don't like the idea of people feeling lonely.
" I know that being in someone's shoes to a point of not being able to see friends and family I can show empathy.
"I saw an advert on my Twitter after reading the job description and thought I need to do this! I need for my own sake too to know I am helping someone.
Olive Williams, aged 83 , the lady Alishia befriends, said:“ Alishia is a wonderful lifeline for me. I live on my own with my husband in a carehome. I cant get to see him.
"Alishia is such a comfort and so understanding. Considering she has all her own issues to contend with she has such patience and makes time for me. I feel she is part of my life now, like a niece I never had and I have never even met her. I look so forward to our calls.
"Everyone should have an Alishia in their life”
Alishia is trying to raise awareness of the disease and has raised money for Pancreatic Cancer Action charity and continue to do so.
Sure Start to Later Life 01928569498/01515117569
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