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31 new cases of cancer each week in Galway

Denise McNamara

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There are 31 people in Galway diagnosed with cancer every week – as cancer rates have increased by 4% over the past three years.

That is based on cancer incidence figures taken from the National Cancer Registry from 2010-2012, and released this week as the Irish Cancer Society and Dell launched Daffodil Day 2015 in Galway.

Daffodil Day will take place in Galway on Friday, March 27 – marking the 28th running of Ireland’s longest running and biggest fundraising day.

The Society announced a growth in cancer incidence that is sure to have a direct impact on its services – increasing the need for the people in Galway to support Daffodil Day so they can reach their fundraising target of €3.5 million for 2015.

Speaking at the launch of Daffodil Day, John McCormack, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Cancer Society acknowledged that every family in Galway is touched by cancer – and these new figures confirm that cancer rates are growing.

“As cancer is increasing so are our efforts to fight it. As the national cancer charity we are working harder to ensure that every family in need of support in Galway has access to our services. To meet the increased demand for help as more people get and survive cancer we need to raise even more money this year on Daffodil Day,” he said.

Funds raised on Daffodil Day by thousands of volunteers across Ireland go directly to fund the work of the Society across support, prevention, research and advocacy.

Night Nursing is one service funded by Daffodil Day. Last year the Society was able to fulfil 96% of requests for a night nurse.

Three in every four cancer patients wish to die at home surrounded by family – yet only 25% get to do so. The Irish Cancer Society provides the only night time care service for cancer patients in their own homes.

In 2014 the Society’s nurses provided 334 nights of care to 87 patients in Galway and this service is fully funded by the people of Galway who consistently support the work of the Society.

“We won’t give up until every person affected by cancer in Galway has the support they need and we need the support of everyone in Galway to make this possible,” added Mr McCormack.

“We still have some way to go to fully support patients who will die from their cancer. We won’t give up until we reach that future without cancer – and I know the Irish public won’t either,” he said.

Daffodil Day has set an ambitious fundraising target of €3.5 million in order to continue to provide and expand this service and others – and they need public support on Friday, March 27 to achieve that.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer as a collector, organise a Daffodil Day event in the community or workplace or donate directly can do so on CallSave 1850 606060 or by visiting www.cancer.ie.

Connacht Tribune

Exploring the merits of moving into the west

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Kennedy with Carol Ho, one of the Galway interviewees for her new TG4 series, Moving West. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Broadcaster Mary Kennedy has an abiding image of those early mornings when she’d set out from Dublin at the crack of dawn to begin work on another day’s filming down the country with Nationwide.

“I always liked to go in the morning rather than stay there the night before – so I’d be on the road early. And from the moment I’d hit Newland’s Cross, all I’d see was a line of traffic of people trying to make it from home to their workplace in Dublin,” she says.

These were people whose day began before dawn to get their bleary-eyed kids ready to drop at a childminder along the way, so they could be on time for work – and then race home to hopefully see those same kids before they went to sleep.

But if the pandemic had a positive, it was the realisation that work was something you did, not a place you went to. As a result, many people finally grasped the nettle, moving out of the city and sometimes even taking their work with them.

Which is why Mary – busier than ever since her supposed retirement from RTÉ – is presenting a new television series called Moving West, focusing on those individuals and families who have, as the title, suggests, relocated to the West.

One of the programmes comes from Galway, where Mary met with Stewart Forrest, who relocated with his family from South Africa to Oughterard, and Carol Ho, a Hong Kong native who has also settled in Galway.

The TG4 series also stops off in Sligo, Mayo, Kerry, Clare, Roscommon and Leitrim.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Community’s tribute to one of their own – saving final cut of turf after his passing

Dave O'Connell

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Well saved...members of St Brendan's GAA Club honour their departed stalwart, John Geraghty, after a record-breaking evening saving his turf.

A local community responded in force to the death of one of their own – a man who had given so much of his life for the good of the parish – by paying one last practical tribute to him last week.

They lifted and footed his turf.

John Geraghty – or Gero as he was known – lived for Gaelic football and he’d filled every role imaginable with the St Brendan’s GAA Club since he came to live in Newbridge in 1983.

He’d cut the turf before he died last Tuesday week, but there it lay, until his old GAA friends organised a bunch of guys – made up of the football team, friends and neighbours – to meet in the bog last Wednesday evening to lift and foot/clamp John’s turf.

“Upwards of 50 fellas from the community showed up,” said St Brendan’s chairman Gerry Kilcommins.

Which was just as well, because, as Gerry acknowledged, John – himself a two-time chairman of the club in the past – had a lot of turf cut!

“It took up an area around three-quarters of the size of a standard football pitch,” he said.

Not that this proved a problem, given the enthusiasm with which they rolled up their sleeves for their old friend.

They started at 7.30pm and had it done at 7.55pm – that’s just 25 minutes from start to finish.

Read the full, heartwarming story – and the St Brendan’s GAA Club appreciation for John Geraghty – in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Liver donor dad would do it all again in a heartbeat

Denise McNamara

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Daddy’s girl…Sadhbh Browne with her very special message on organ donations. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

It is nearly two years since Paddy Browne gave his daughter Sadhbh part of his liver to save her life. And just ahead of Father’s Day, he reflects on how he would do it all over again in a heartbeat, without a single moment’s hesitation.

After an initial testing time in the first six weeks when they beat a path to the intensive care unit after the operation in St King’s Hospital in London, Sadhbh has never looked back.

“She’s thrived and thrived and thrived. She skips out to school every day. She loves the normal fun and devilment in the yard. She’s now six and started football with Mountbellew Moylough GAA, she loves baking, she’s a voracious reader – she’ll read the whole time out loud while we drive up to Crumlin [Children’s Hospital].”

But it could have all been so different.

Sadhbh from Mountbellew was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia shortly after she was born. She quickly underwent major surgery to drain bile from her liver. It worked well until she reached three years old when an infection caused severe liver damage and she was placed on the liver transplant list.

She was on a long list of medication to manage the consequences of advanced liver disease. While she lived a full life, she would tire very easily.

Paddy was undergoing the rigorous process to be accepted as a living donor when one of the tests ruled him unsuitable. His brother Michael stepped forward and was deemed a good match.

Then, further tests revealed that Paddy was in fact eligible for the operation and the previous result disregarded as a false positive.

Read the full, uplifting story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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