CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan’s family have invited the public to join them in a celebration of her life.
The events takes place in her native Mooncoin, in Co Kilkenny, on Sunday, November 27th, for a celebration of her life in the parish church.
The event will also be livestreamed as it is anticipated the church will not hold the large numbers wishing to attend.
In a statement posted to the Vicky’s Tribe Facebook page last night, the Phelan and Kelly family said that “goodbyes are never easy” and last Thursday they said theirs to 48-year-old Vicky.
The loved ones of the mother of two said her funeral was a “very moving and deeply personal gathering” amongst family and friends.
“Stories were told and tears were shed, but we also shared a smile or two as we remembered the remarkable life of our wonderful Vicky.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude for all the good wishes from near & far over the last week. We too felt the nations’ love and are forever grateful.”
The family said that were mindful of giving all those who loved Vicky an opportunity to pay their respects following her passing.
“Vicky was a friend to many and was keen to ensure that all who wanted had the opportunity to join with us in a celebration of her life & pay their final respects. With this in mind, we invite you to her native Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny on Sunday, November 27th next at 1pm, where we will do our best to honour that wish.
“As numbers in the church itself are limited, there will be a live stream available on the day also, details of which will be posted later in the week along with further updates on the event itself. At this point it’s fair to say that music will feature prominently, with some of her favourite musicians playing a few of her favourite tunes on the day.”
Meanwhile, following her passing last week her family asked that donations be made to Milford Care Hospice (milfordcarecentre.ie) in Castletroy in Limerick in lieu of flowers.
Vicky is survived by her husband Jim, their children Amelia and Daragh, her parents John and Gaby Kelly and her siblings Robbie, Lee, Jonnie and Lyndsey.
She was diagnosed with cervical cancer eight years ago but was given all clear after long and difficult treatment.
However, in 2018 she was informed that an audit carried out by CervicalCheck found that her 2011 smear test had been reported as a false negative.
Within weeks a CT scan revealed the cancer had returned. The diagnosis was terminal. She went public with what had occurred in a bid to help other women in her position. Her efforts sparked a debate on the treatment and care of cancer patients in Ireland.
Phelan documented her journey through life in her award-winning bestselling book Overcoming.
She made the decision to cease chemotherapy in November of last year in order to focus on making memories with her loved ones. She had previously travelled to the United States for treatment in a bid to prolong her life.