Homeless Janet (72) says her cancer has returned

January 31st, 2018 10:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Janet Thornton says her cancer has returned.

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A 72-year-old woman said her cancer symptoms have returned since she became homeless on December 31st.


A 72-YEAR-OLD woman said her cancer symptoms have returned since she became homeless on December 31st.

Janet Thornton, who has renal cancer, said: ‘The symptoms have returned, which is an indication that the tumour has started growing again.’

Janet, an Irish citizen who grew up in the US, said she met with a member of Focus Ireland, the homeless charity in Cork city this week, in a bid to resolve her housing need.

Janet told The Southern Star: ‘I can deal with the uncertainty around the cancer, but what I can’t deal with is the added uncertainty of having no place in which to live.’

Since January 10th, Janet has been living in a hostel in Glengarriff, after her lease on an old cottage in the Bantry area ran out. 

Janet said that when a person in West Cork becomes homeless they are sent to a homeless shelter in Cork city. But she said she would not go because she needs to be near her GP and was placed in a hostel in Glengarriff instead.

Janet has had to place her two cats, Tiger and Sooty, as well as her rescue dog Alfie, in kennels. In addition to the cost of moving and storage, she said she has had to pay €52 to have her mail held because she no forwarding address, and €200 a week for kennels.

Janet said she would be grateful if anyone could help her to cover her pets’ accommodation costs until she finds alternative accommodation for the five of them, because her savings are almost gone. 

Despite having met with Cork County Council’s housing officials, Janet said she believes she is no closer to securing a place.

‘Being homeless itself is the most frightening and painful experience I have ever had.’

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