People all over Donegal are being encouraged to get behind Daffodil Day this Friday 24th March and support people in the community impacted by cancer.
The Irish Cancer Society says that the cost of living crisis has put an added strain on those impacted by cancer, causing increased demand for their services, particularly financial advice and counselling.
The charity is now supporting people with far higher levels of distress than normally associated with a cancer diagnosis, requiring more counselling supports than ever before.
The number of drives the Society’s transport services has provided has increased by 30% in the past year.
Meanwhile, expenditure on the Society’s Children’s Fund has increased fourfold from €153k in 2020 to €672k in 2022.
The Irish Cancer Society is calling on the public to donate this weekend to show solidarity and support for anyone affected by cancer. Collections will take place in towns and shopping centres across the country from Fri 24th– Sun 26th March. People can also donate at cancer.ie.
On top of funding life-changing cancer research, the Irish Cancer Society provides vital services and supports to patients and their families across Donegal each year, including 171 free counselling sessions, 188 nights of in-home Night Nursing for cancer patients in their final days, and 480 free lifts to get patients safely to and from their hospital chemotherapy appointments in 2022.
Clonmany woman Roseena Doherty Toner has joined this year’s Daffodil Day campaign to call on people to show their support.
“This is one day in our year when we can take something back from cancer,” Roseena said.
Roseena, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) two years ago, underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant in early 2022.
During her illness, the mum-of-five became a steadfast campaigner for improved services for cancer patients in the northwest.
As Daffodil Day approaches on Friday 24th March, Roseena is telling her personal story to encourage other people to listen to their bodies.
In June 2021, Roseena Doherty had a temperature and sore throat that wouldn’t go away. After taking a Covid-19 test, which was negative, she was prescribed a course of antibiotics by her GP. Not long after this, Roseena began feeling too ill to get out of bed and unable to swallow any food or fluids and was taken to A & E in Letterkenny Hospital.
Roseena was later transferred from Letterkenny to Galway University Hospital, where she underwent further tests. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and it was established that she would need four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
Roseena said: “Until I was diagnosed with AML, it’s not something I’d ever really heard of and I knew absolutely nothing about it. I met other patients with leukaemia who had symptoms like tiredness and bruising but that wasn’t my experience. I had a sore throat and a temperature.
“Sometimes with a cancer diagnosis, we think we have to be very brave. When people say to me that I’m dealing it with very well and that I’m so positive, I would say we have all have our harder days with our diagnosis, no matter how we look. There can be a day when something just hits you out of the blue and maybe for 10 minutes you’ll have that cry. However then you’ll just dry yourself off and you get on with it again.”