Dear Editor,

Many of you here in the Algarve – and indeed in many parts of the world – will have participated in one way or another in Macmillan’s recent “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”, thereby making a valuable contribution to the annual event which will have raised millions of pounds around the globe. Macmillan has made giant advances since its foundation in 1911 and funding its first Macmillan nurse in 1975. Nowadays it provides invaluable care and support to millions of cancer sufferers and their families exclusively in the United Kingdom. Indeed many of you resident here in Portugal will have first-hand experience of their excellent work in the United Kingdom.

We at Madrugada are working in our own small way to provide specialised end-of-life care and support for anyone in the Algarve who is facing a life-limiting illness. Our association was registered in August 2009 and the following year, after appointing our first nurse, we began our home-based end-of-life care service. To date, some 90 patients have benefited from Madrugada’s ‘hospice at home’ service: a unique offering in Portugal.

Madrugada has benefited greatly from an ongoing professional association with Macmillan. However, many people seem to believe that some of the funds raised for Macmillan here in Portugal find their way to Madrugada. This is not the case and nor would we expect this! It is entirely due to the public through its generosity, donations and support of Madrugada’s charity shops, events and the Support Centre in Luz, that the association is able to provide its services free of charge.

Doug McAdam
Board Member, Madrugada


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