Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Cancer survivor welcomes new research unit

Denise McNamara

Published

on

Darren McMahon was just 22 when he noticed a lump at the side of his neck beside his collarbone.

“I was living in London at the time and I did the typical man thing and didn’t worry about it. I thought it might be a cyst,” he recalls.

It was only when he returned home and the other symptoms suddenly hit him. He had lost a lot of weight, had a loss of appetite and experienced night sweats. It was three months before he finally saw his GP.

After a blood test, he was set for a keyhole biopsy, which proved inconclusive. After a fortnight the whole lump in his neck was removed. It was just before Christmas and he was invited to the oncology unit in Limerick to get the results.

“I had thought it might be glandular fever, I never thought cancer because of my age. But I put two and two together and guessed it was cancer when I got that letter.”

He remembers his parents were both silent on the way home after the diagnosis that he had Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“I remarked that these were the worst results since my Leaving Cert and we laughed. We all kept up good spirits after that.”

He had his first chemotherapy session on Christmas Eve 2010. Initially he managed the gruelling regime of drugs fine but then the chronic fatigue set in and he lost his hair and his eyebrows.

“That was tough because that’s when you start to look sick. I had 17 tumours in my chest and neck. I was told it would take eight months for the chemotherapy and then I had a CT full body scan in St James in Dublin and they could see how well I was reacting to the chemo so I finished two months early.”

After studying in Athlone and Cork as a graphic designer, the native of Ennis now lives and interns in Galway city centre. In remission since 2011, next May will be his five-year clear mark, which will mean his regular hospital appointments will move to yearly checkups.

Darren is the kind of patient who would benefit from the new blood cancer research unit which was opened by the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English yesterday (Wednesday).

The Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) is a national collaborative cancer research initiative funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland and supported by the pharmaceutical industry.

This new clinical research network based at NUIG’s Lambe Institute for Translational Research on the grounds of University Hospital Galway will see Irish blood cancer patients be among the first in the world to test new drugs and treatments. The network will further knowledge and understanding of blood cancers through a new biobank and registry.

An investment of €2.2m will facilitate research into drugs which may mean that some patients no longer have to undergo punishing chemotherapy

Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland, Professor of Haematology at NUIG, Michael O’Dwyer said the investment will have many potential benefits.

“It will make Ireland internationally competitive in blood cancer research, increase access to expensive medicines free of charge with consequent savings to the taxpayer, enhance research and development in Ireland, contribute to job creation, and most importantly of all, benefit patients.”

Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor, said this research would make a real difference in patients’ lives.

As a result of the chemotherapy he underwent, Darren has 60% of his previous lung capacity and a number of small heart problems.

“This new centre will make the whole process less daunting. A lot of people think cancer is a death sentence but there are so many new treatments out there.”

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending