The Irish Cancer Society has released a powerful advertising campaign to show support and solidarity with anyone affected by cancer.
Louth mum Eileen Rushe is one of the cancer patients and survivors of all ages who appear in the moving advert to show the real-life impact a cancer diagnosis has on patients and their loved ones.
In a year of increased isolation for anyone enduring a cancer diagnosis, the advert is aimed at letting the cancer community know that there are supports and services available, “every step of the way”.
The campaign offers a glimpse into the daily lives of some of the people living with, and beyond cancer in Ireland today and features real-life cancer patients and survivors at different stages on their cancer journeys. Including, cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan, who is currently taking part in a cancer trial in the U.S., and eight year old Saoirse Ruane, who appeared on the Late Late Toy Show in 2020 to share her story.
Eileen Rushe, from Co Louth, who is living with a stage four cervical cancer diagnosis and shared a really personal moment in the ad, said the campaign was a way to help remind us of all those who are experiencing cancer.
She said, “As a community Ireland does phenomenal work for those affected by cancer. I’m delighted to be a part of the Irish Cancer Society’s campaign, to help us to remember our neighbours, friends, colleagues and family members that are currently experiencing cancer. It reminds us that no one has to go through cancer alone and that by supporting the Irish cancer society’s great work we are helping those that need it most”.
Helen Flynn, a mum to two boys living in Galway who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, said, “It’s vital to shine a light on cancer during Covid-19, because Covid-19 has inadvertently removed a lot of practical supports and services. A cancer diagnosis is a very isolating and terrifying thing, the layer of Covid-19 blocking the opportunity to use other practical supports. I’m doing it all alone, without the face-to-face support.”
Liam Cuddihy from Waterford, who was first diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma in 2018 and relapsed last year described going through cancer during the pandemic as a “pure balancing act”.
Conor King, acting CEO of the Irish Cancer Society said, “We are absolutely honoured that so many people were so generous with their time, energy and personal stories featured in this campaign. This story is theirs to tell.
“This past year has been enormously challenging for us all and we wanted this campaign to be a message of support for everyone affected by cancer and their loved ones.
“We also wanted to let people know we are here for them. We have free services such as a Support Line run by oncology nurses, Daffodil Centres in every major hospital, a counselling service for anyone affected by cancer and also our amazing Night Nurse team to provide end of life care at home. Our amazing team of volunteer drivers continue to drive people to and from chemotherapy every day.
“We also want to thank everyone who has donated or raised funds to help us keep our services running through the pandemic. With our charity shops remaining closed, we are now facing into our second virtual Daffodil Day - the ongoing support of the public is the only way we can keep going.
“We want this ad to remind people of the extra tough year it’s been for people who’ve lived through cancer. We also want to remember the 9,000 families who have lost a loved one in the past year and whose funerals would have been impacted by Covid.
“We are here, no-one should face this alone, please pick up the phone and talk to one of our nurses today and let us support you.”
The Irish Cancer Society Support Line can be contacted free of charge on 1800 200 700.
To get support or to donate please visit www.cancer.ie
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