Liz with her husband Patsy, right, and Cllr Enda Bonner.
By Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org @dgldemocrat
The 2016 Donegal Carer of the Year was awarded to Liz Hanlon from Dungloe, Donegal. Noelle Gibbons, Family Carers Ireland (FCI) presented Liz with her very deserving certificate at a special lunch held in her honour at Bayview Bar & Restaurant Dungloe, on Wednesday 2nd November.
Liz Hanlon cares full time for her son Jason. When Jason was only 9 months old, Liz and her husband Patsy noticed that he wasn’t thriving as he should be. Jason is both physically and mentally challenged and cannot walk or talk. Liz has devoted her life to caring for Jason who is now 24, and when he is upset it is Liz who makes a judgment as to what his needs are.
In June of this year, Jason was also diagnosed with scoliosis which brings new challenges to Jason and his family.
Liz has had her own personal challenges, and was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2004. However, through her strength, positive attitude and support from her family she fought the battle and is thankfully now a survivor of cancer.
Following on from that Liz’s father became ill and she also cared for him in her home until his death last year.
Commenting, Noelle Gibbons, FCI Donegal Carers Support Officer said, “We are absolutely delighted that Liz Hanlon has been awarded Donegal Carer of the Year 2016. Liz is a truly remarkable person, who provides much love and care to her son Jason. Liz has a wonderful attitude and even in the face of her own illness she was constantly positive and upbeat.
“Liz was nominated by her husband Patsy, and in addition to the care she provides for Jason she gives much love and care to her other eight children, and nine grandchildren.”
Ms Gibbons concluded, “We received several nominations from across Donegal but even though they were all worthy we could unfortunately only pick one.
“Carers play an absolutely vital role in society, and they are at times the forgotten workforce. The Carers of the Year Awards, present an opportunity to celebrate the dedication and support carers provide to their loved ones every day throughout the year.”
All entries into the Carers of the Year Awards receive a commemorative certificate and the Donegal Carer of the Year 2016.
Liz will now attend a special ceremony which will be held in Dublin on November 16th honouring award recipients from across the country. One family carer will be chosen as Ireland’s Carer of the Year 2016.
This is the tenth year of the awards ceremony, and for the first time, there will be four regional Young Carers of the Year Awards. 2015 saw a 400% increase in nominations for Young Carer of the Year.