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The 3rd Annual Susie Long Memorial Walk took place in Kilkenny Castle Park on Sunday, 30 November 2014.

KCLR 96fm presenter Edwina Grace lead the walk in memory of courageous Susie Long, who died from bowel cancer in 2007.

Edwina, who has had personal experience of cancer in her family, described her admiration for Susie Long for speaking out about her struggles as a public patient.

As soon as Susie picked up the phone and spoke on radio, hearing her human voice, changed everyone's perspective on waiting lists and statistics.

We thought, 'here is a real person telling us our health system failed her'. By sharing her story, Susie achieved so much, and continues to do so, seven years on from her death with the recent opening of six new palliative care beds
in her local hospital St Luke's.

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Edwina was joined by her cousin, Kilkenny hurling legend Tommy Walsh who announced his retirement from intercounty hurling just a fortnight before.

Susie's family and friends, attended the walk. Conor, Susie's husband, who is a member of the Susie Long Hospice Fund said,

The walk is an opportunity to spread the word about what we do and to remember Susie in a sociable and fun way.

Susie's family and friends, including her husband, Conor Mac Liam, will be attending the walk. Conor, who is a member of the Susie Long Hospice Fund, the group set up to lobby for a 12-bed hospice in Kilkenny said: "The walk is an opportunity to spread the word about what we do and to remember Susie in a sociable and fun way.

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photos: Pat Moore


Press statement by the family of Susie Long regarding the announcement earlier in the year by the Susie Long Hospice Fund of the opening a six-bed palliative care unit in St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.

“Today is an emotional day for us, as the promise of a hospice for Kilkenny begins to turn into a reality. We are delighted that progress is now being made in bringing this vital service to the people in our community who are terminally ill and their families also. Susie had to travel to a hospice in Dublin, and we were lucky to able to stay with family there to be with her in her final days. We hope this development in St. Luke’s will help remove the turmoil many patients and the families go through, and bring some of the peace and calm that Susie and we experienced in Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross in Dublin. Hospice care allowed Susie to emerge from pain and uncertainty, to become her full self again and allowed her to speak out on behalf of those who were not receiving the care and treatment they deserved. A full hospice service network must be put in place right across Ireland; the terminally ill in every county deserve it, and they cannot wait.

“The process to get to this point has been a long and arduous one. In 2008, a year after Susie passed, we saw funding which was supposed to be ring-fenced for palliative care, left unspent in the South-East and simply being reabsorbed into the general HSE budget. In 2009 we saw the publication of the HSE’s five year plan for priority projects for palliative care, including the target of completing a hospice in Kilkenny by 2013. This deadline was allowed to pass without official explanation last year. All this time the Susie Long Hospice Fund (SLHF) has lobbied and raised money for such a hospice. So it is with great relief and hope that we receive this announcement today. We would like to acknowledge the trojan work done by the SLHF committee over the years and particularly the work of our chairman Tommy Roche and the clinical director of St. Luke’s, Garry Courtney. We look forward to opening of this interim 6-bed unit palliative care unit shortly and believe that pressure must now be maintained to build the permanent 12-bed hospice as soon as possible.”

Conor Mac Liam,
Áine Nic Liam,
Fergus Mac Liam.


Susie
The Susie Long Hospice Fund was set up in October 2007 to provide the highest possible quality of end-of-life care for patients and their families through the establishment of a 12-bed hospice in Kilkenny, for the people of Kilkenny and Carlow. 
The Fund plans to meet this challenge through fundraising, increasing awareness of the need and benefits of local hospice care and by lobbying Government for support. 
Donations can be made directly to the fund at
AIB, High St, Kilkenny,
Account No: 3462705,
Sort code: 93-31-98. 
The Susie Long Hospice Fund is a registered charity, number CHY17950
.
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