Margaret’s Story

“Through my involvement with the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity I have met so many lovely people; employees, volunteers and patients at the three centres. The volunteers are amazing, giving their time so freely and raising much needed funds for the Charity, whilst often, undergoing treatment themselves for this indiscriminate disease that is cancer.”

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Trustee Margaret McIlroy talks about her personal experience with cancer, the help the Charity has provided and how her journey inspired her to become a Trustee.

‘I’m sorry, its cancer.’ I remember the date with vivid clarity – 31 October 2000. It felt like my world had fallen apart. So much goes through your head in those few seconds it takes to say those words… I am going to die… my children are young… I’m not going to see
them growing up… how will my husband cope… I had a total meltdown.

More tests and operations followed, as those of you who have been unfortunate enough to have heard those words know only too well. It was a gruelling six months of chemo during which time I went along to Rochelle House, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Centre in Chelmsford.M McIlroy

There I met Lorna Ellis, the centre manager and the rest of her team. It was an oasis in the centre of chaos in my life. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and it was therapeutic to meet others in the same situation and chat over a coffee or cup of tea.

I particularly like reflexology and after a session at Rochelle House I came away feeling so positive and uplifted, and thinking I CAN beat this. Since I felt I was getting such benefit from my visits to Rochelle House, I, together with three other ladies, formed a fundraising group in our local area, to raise much needed funds for the Charity so that others could benefit.

In May 2012 I was retiring from my job in the City and our founder, Professor Davidson, proposed that I become a Trustee. I was deeply honoured and since then I have been an active member of the Board of Trustees.

Being a Trustee is challenging but very rewarding. It is the duty of a Trustee to act in the best interest of the Charity, to direct the affairs of the Charity, ensuring that it is solvent and well run, ensuring that it complies with relevant laws and continues to help the people it was set up to benefit. Prior to our own Board meeting on the first Monday of each month, the Board of Trustees meets with the Management Team who, oversee the day-to-day running of the Charity. This ensures that the Trustees are fully aware of what is
happening within the Charity and allows them to react to any issues correctly and timeously.

Being a Trustee also involves attending charity events on behalf of the Charity, the most recent one I attended was a concert at Chelmsford Cathedral by the Caprice Wind Orchestra.

Through my involvement with the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity I have met so many lovely people; employees, volunteers and patients at the three centres. The volunteers are amazing, giving their time so freely and raising much needed funds for the Charity, whilst often, undergoing treatment themselves for this indiscriminate disease that is Cancer.

Charities rely on these people who by their commitment make the world a better place by helping others. In this case by helping the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity to support people living with cancer. From someone who has been there… thank you.

If you would like to know more about the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, or to donate visit helenrollason.org.uk, or contact us on 01245 380719.