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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Mayor of MEA recalls teenage cancer battle and being “guinea pig” for new chemotherapy treatment

Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Alderman Beth Adger MBE

Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Alderman Beth Adger MBE

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has supported a motion to give encouragement to those suffering from cancer.

The motion was brought by the borough’s first citizen, Braid DUP Alderman Beth Adger MBE.

Ald Adger told a meeting of the council at The Braid, in Ballymena, last week that she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 17.

“This is a very relevant proposal that is happening a lot in the community today. I thought it only right that I give some encouragement to people who are suffering from cancer at the minute.

“Fifty-nine years ago, when I was 17-years-old of age, I was engaged to my now husband Tommy and we had bought a new bungalow and were planning to get married.

“My mother was in hospital having my youngest sister and I took unwell and was taken into the Smiley Hospital in Larne where the doctor discovered that I had cancer.

“The doctor there was friendly with the doctor who was in London and he was bringing out this new medicine called chemotherapy. I was sent over in an aeroplane to London’s Charing Cross Hospital for the treatment.

“My father had to sign a form because I was a guinea pig for chemotherapy. My family was told if he didn’t sign for it, I would be dead in six months.

“The treatment worked and I was in hospital over there for six months in an isolated ward where anybody who came to visit me had to talk to me through a plastic door.

“I came home and as you can see I am still here many years later. I was told I never would have any children and you met my family last month and most of them are all here except one who is in Australia and I am very proud of them all. So I proved them wrong.

“I am bringing this motion because cancer is no respecter of persons. Our king, our princess and many people in our community are going through cancer at this moment and I am saying keep strong, have faith and remember, I’m here 59 years after my treatment and I hope everybody else will be the same.”

Notably, His Majesty King Charles III and Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales have been receiving cancer treatment in recent months.

The motion was seconded by Ballymena DUP Cllr Reuben Glover.


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