Support group makes a difference

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THE SECRETARY of the Tallaght COPD Support Group has spoken out about how the group has helped her to deal with her diagnosis of COPD, and the difference it makes to people in the area who suffer from the life-limiting condition, ahead of The Echo’s fundraiser for the group.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease which makes it hard for sufferers to empty air out of their lungs and causes shortness of breath and tiredness, and can have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of those who live with the condition.

Carol Muldoon 01 compressor

Carol Muldoon says there’s life after being diagnosed

When Ballycragh woman Carol Muldoon (57) was diagnosed with the condition in 2015, she was already familiar with it as her father, Charles Downey, who died in 2001, also had the condition.

“My dad was living with me when he had COPD, but at the time the internet was only starting up and all that I could find out about the condition was fairly technical stuff,” explained Ms Muldoon.

“When I was first told I had COPD, because I knew what it was like and what the ending was going to be, I would’ve just sat in my house getting worse, but having somewhere to go with likeminded people who are all in the same boat really lifts your spirit.”

Ms Muldoon set up the Tallaght COPD Support Group in 2016, along with fellow committee members Phil Meehan and Paddy Grimes. After being involved in a Drogheda COPD Support Group that was also linked with COPD Support Ireland, she decided she wanted to set one up closer to home for herself and other people in the locality with the condition.

“The group has made a tremendous difference,” said Ms Muldoon. “The first thing we set up was an exercise group.

ECHO COPD 04

Carol Muldoon, Letitia Swardt, Pauline Farrell, Nicky Coules, Bernie Coules, Rose Keegan and Marie Kennedy at the launch last week

“It sounds funny, getting someone who can’t breathe to exercise, but it really helps us with the condition.

“When we’re in the group, we’re all in the same boat – no one feels out of place.”

When asked how members of the group, which currently has 26 members, feel about being the beneficiaries of The Echo’s annual charity static cycle, Ms Muldoon said: “We’re delighted with ourselves.

“Tallaght is a big place and we know there’s more than 26 people in the area with COPD.

“We want to help people with the condition to live a fuller life. There’s life after being diagnosed with COPD, and life is for living.”

The Tallaght COPD Support Group meets in the Rua Red cafe, which is opposite the Luas stop for The Square, every Thursday from 10.30am to midday, while The Echo’s fundraising event for the group will take place in The Square on Thursday, December 5.

The Echo team have set up a go fund me page for the fundraising event in aid of of the Tallaght COPD Support Group, click HERE to donate. 

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