RTE ‘Dancing With The Stars’ contestant, Des Bishop, was on hand this week at Croke Park to help launch the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day which takes place on March 24 this year.
He was also encouraging Kerry people to donate or take part as a volunteer on day which has raised €66m since 1988, funding vital cancer research and support for people affected by cancer.
In almost 30 years, Daffodil Day has become a vital fundraiser involving communities across Ireland who come together to support cancer patients and their families.
The annual event sees hundreds of passionate volunteers in every county in Ireland take to the streets to help to fund services including the Society’s Night Nursing service, which in 2016 delivered over 8,000 nights of care to cancer patients in their homes.
77 cancer patients in Kerry received 369 nights of care through the Society’s Night Nursing service last year.
In 2016, 298 journeys were facilitated for 33 patients from Kerry who used the Volunteer Driver Service. The Service currently operates in 21 hospitals around the country and transports patients to and from their chemotherapy treatment.
Grants totalling €7,100 were provided to 12 families in Kerry through the Society’s Financial Support Programme which supports parents of children who are undergoing cancer treatment and experiencing financial hardship.
Bishop, who lost his father to lung cancer, urged members of the public to show their support for the growing number of people being diagnosed with cancer.
Incidence of cancer is rising and 150 people are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland every day. Most recent data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland shows that 1,277 people in Kerry were diagnosed with cancer over a 12 month period.
Des, who was diagnosed himself with testicular cancer in 2000 said; “Cancer has knocked on every door in Ireland, it is affecting lives every single day of the year. I’ve faced it myself, my mother has been treated for cancer and my father unfortunately died from the disease. Daffodil Day is an amazing day where the people of Ireland unite to fight back against cancer. This countrywide show of support will help fund important cancer research and care for all those affected by this terrible disease. March 24th, the 30th anniversary of Daffodil Day, is our day to take action against cancer and hopefully, one day, stop it.”
Money raised also funds innovative cancer research projects, with €20m invested into lifesaving research since 2010. This investment has supported more than 150 cancer researchers to work on a diverse range of individual or collaborative projects that will ultimately lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.
This year the Society needs to raise over €3m on Daffodil Day to fund vital services and important cancer research. The public can support Daffodil Day on 24 March by:
• Holding a coffee morning or event at home, in school or in their workplace
• Registering as a volunteer to help sell daffodil pins
• Buying a daffodil from one of our volunteers in their community
• Donating online at www.cancer.ie
For more information on Daffodil Day visit www.cancer.ie/daffodilday