A Dundalk healthcare professional living with advanced breast cancer has urged the public to support cancer services through Daffodil Day on Friday March 25.
Mags Tuite  had been working as a physiotherapist in the Louth Hospital when she was first diagnosed with the condition in 2008.
Mags says she managed to take that first experience in her stride, and that being a physiotherapist was of great benefit.
She says she was treated like a fellow health professional, and was fortunate to have a greater understanding of the information she was given during treatment due to her background.
She returned to work afterwards and specialised in treating breast cancer and lymphoedema, and Mags says having experience of both following her own diagnosis made a big difference.
However, following her retirement in 2018 she began to notice a recurrence of symptoms. Amid a spiralling pandemic, she was given the incredibly hard news just two days after her birthday in June 2021 that the cancer had returned in her lungs and liver, and that it was now incurable.
Despite such a blow Mags has continued to be an inspirational advocate for crucial services for people going through cancer, including those provided by the Irish Cancer Society.
“The staff in the Louth and the Lourdes have been absolutely brilliant, and they are treating me as well as they can. The term palliative care scared me, but they have been really supportive,” said Mags, who has seen first-hand the difficulties that patients have been experiencing due to the effects of the pandemic.
“I was due to have a gynaecological appointment in January which was postponed to April because of Covid, which is four months I will have to wait.
My main advice to others in my situation is: don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and ask questions.
Unfortunately in the current environment sometimes people need to shout to be heard, but you need to stand up for your own health.
“I am a long-time supporter of the Irish Cancer Society, and with their biggest fundraising day of the year coming up on March 25 I would encourage people to take part or give in whatever they can for the many people in Louth who rely on their services.”
On top of supporting life-changing cancer research, the Irish Cancer Society provides vital services to patients and their families in Louth each year, including nearly 400 counselling sessions, over 250 nights of in-home Night Nursing for patients in their final days, and more than 300 Volunteer Driving lifts to get patients safely to and from their hospital appointments in 2021.
As Daffodil Day returns to the streets of Ireland for the first time since 2019 on March 25, the Irish Cancer Society is calling on the public to take part in any way they can to show solidarity and support for anyone affected by cancer.
Every day cancer takes so much from so many families and Daffodil Day is a chance to come together and take something back, giving hope and raising funds so that one day cancer will take no more.
People are being asked to take part and take back from cancer in any way they can this Daffodil Day.
As well as donating at Cancer.ie and volunteering to help fundraise, they can purchase items from the Daffodil Day online shop and take part in a steps challenge.
Irish Cancer Society CEO Averil Power said:
“We are so excited to be able to get out on the streets again to see the amazing support the people of Ireland show to anyone affected by cancer.
Daffodil Day is such a special and hopeful day for our entire community.
Throughout the pandemic we’ve been so lucky that people have found innovative ways to support us but we are looking forward to seeing Ireland turn yellow once again on March 25.
“Daffodil Day is our most important fundraising event of the year and the money raised goes directly to funding crucial supports.”
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