The former Special Olympics Director, Liz Henry, passes away

THE FORMER Regional Director of Special Olympics Ulster which once had its headquarters in Ballymoney has died.

Liz Henry was delighted when she helped oversee the opening of new offices at Silversprings which became the central hub for the Olympics programme in 2004 as well as providing year round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for children and adults with a learning disability.

The office eventually closed as the organisation streamlined but Mrs. Henry continued with her work looking after those less privileged in life.

Sadly, last year Mrs. Henry disclosed that she was suffering with a spindle cell tumour - a very rare type of a sarcoma, which is a soft tissue tumour that eats into the bone and has no known cure. However, once diagnosed she became even more concerned over the lack of additional information about the tumour from medical professions and even the internet.

As a result, she set up a support group to provide information and support for others suffering from the rare disease.

At the time she said: “I had surgery, and was told that this was a terminal cancer, with no known cure, and due to its advance stage, Chemo would not be effective. However no one was able to give me any additional information on the Spindle cell tumour, even on internet I could only get limited in information.

“Due to the lack of information and the increasing numbers of Sarcomas in Northern Ireland, I decided to form the Sarcoma Support Northern Ireland group. The role of the group is support for patients as soon as they have been diagnosed, and to raise much needed funds for research.

“Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the supporting or connective tissues of the body such as muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels and fat. There are around 3200 new cases of sarcoma diagnosed each year in the UK.

Mrs.Henry, from Kilraughts Road was buried on Wednesday following a service at Ballymoney Free Presbyterian Church. She is survived by her husband, Samuel and by nine brothers and sisters.