In ports around the UK, seafarers need a friend. Someone they can rely on when things get tough.
Geraldo, a fisherman from the Philippines, was working in Portavogie, Northern Ireland when he was sadly diagnosed with colon cancer. Imagine hearing those words when you’remiles from home, separated from loved ones. When English is your second language and you’re not even sure what ‘cancer’ means.
Fortunately for Geraldo, someone was there to help him through this difficult time. Stella Maris Port Chaplain, Deacon Joe O’Donnell had been appointed to watch over that port, bringing a Stella Maris presence to Northern Ireland. Joe was able to be the friend that Geraldo so desperately needed.
Joe and our volunteers arranged for Geraldo to attend the local NHS hospital, took him to appointments, arranged visitors, and provided food.
Geraldo says Stella Maris saved his life.
I wouldn’t have got the best cancer treatment and care if not for Stella Maris in Northern Ireland. I am so thankful to Chaplain Joe for being my friend when I needed one, and grateful to you for helping me through your support. Stella Maris and its donors saved my life and I won’t ever forget you.
Sadly, many fishers and seafarers face situations like these alone. Right now, Stella Maris has a presence in 91 UK ports. But that leaves a further 167 ports with no Stella Maris friend. So mariners there are on their own with their loneliness and struggles.
This Harvest, please help us to grow our support around the UK so we can be there for more seafarers and fishers like Geraldo.