BY JACKIE KEOGH
TIME is running out for a 72-year old woman who is facing homelessness this week.
Janet Thornton, who has cancer, told The Southern Star she is ‘desperate’ and in need of alternative accommodation before the lease she has on an old cottage in the Bantry area runs out.
‘I have been trying in vain for the last three months to find a new place to live but I simply cannot afford the prices being asked,’ said Janet, who has lived in Ireland for the last five years.
Janet, who is an Irish citizen but was born and raised in the United States, told The Southern Star: ‘I literally have nowhere to go.
‘I don’t have any family here and the few friends I have made here over the last two years do not have any room for me, my dog, Alfie, and my two cats, Tiger and Sooty.
‘They are all rescue animals and my best friends,’ said Janet, who has become increasingly frail since she was diagnosed with renal cancer in January 2017.
Janet said she had been given the option of having her left kidney, left ureter and part of her bladder removed but she declined because ‘there is no guarantee that they would get all the cancer and my other kidney is not in perfect shape, so I would be taking a huge risk.
‘At this stage of my life, I need to be taking care of myself. I need to stay warm and to eat well. I also need to stay calm because stress is one of the leading causes of cancer.
‘At the moment, with just days to go before I have to go on Sunday, December 31st, I am stressed to the limit. I don’t know what is going to happen to me.’ Janet confirmed that she has been on Cork County Council’s housing list for the last five years, and has medical priority, but has not been offered anything yet.
It was in desperation that she turned her attention to her local newspaper to highlight her predicament, hoping that someone would come forward with a solution.
‘Please, if there is anyone who can take me, my dog and two cats, contact me on 086 0300259,’ she said. ‘I can pay rent and I am qualified for the local authority’s housing assistance payment, HAP.’