The Mayo Cancer Support Association have appealed to Mayo County Council for assistance in supporting their work.
The group, who provide support to cancer patients and their families from their base at Rock Rose House in Castlebar, gave a presentation to the July monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.
Representing the association was the Chairman of their board, Séamus Moran, and Trisha Greevy, the General Manager of Rock Rose House.
The association are 20 years in existence this year.
Mr Moran told the authority that while cancer treatment has improved in that time, the incidence rate has increased. He quoted World Health Organisation figures that Ireland has the third fastest growth in cancer rates in the world, with 374 people diagnosed per 100,000 every year.
In Mayo, this means there are 488 new diagnoses every year, he added.
He said the association is very grateful for the support from the people of Mayo and that without the association, all the responsibility would fall back on the HSE.
He asked for councillors to look at supporting them on an annual basis throughout the current five-year term of office.
He said they had a cumulative deficit of €100,000 in three of the last four years and would have been in major trouble if they did not have reserves from previous years.
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Brendan Mulroy, said that the service costs €200,000 per year and is a ‘fantastic service’.
Cllr Al McDonnell (FF) said councillors are ‘duty bound to provide the maximum amount of support’, adding the association’s contribution is ‘unquantifiable’.
Cllr John O’Malley (Ind) said the association is ‘dear to my own heart’, saying his wife had fought cancer for five years before losing her own battle.
“Cancer hits every family and you cannot put a price on the help ye provide,” he said.
The council’s Chief Executive, Peter Hynes said the timing of the presentation by the association was ‘excellent’ ahead of budget discussions and said the council ‘will be as creative and supportive as we can possibly be in a situation where we have limited resources’.