EVERY three minutes a person in Ireland receives a cancer diagnosis, and in Waterford 883 people were diagnosed with cancer in the past twelve months.
Daffodil Day, proudly supported by Boots Ireland, takes place on March 23rd and is a crucial fundraiser in the ongoing fight against cancer.
In order to provide services to people affected by cancer, the Irish Cancer Society needs to raise €4m nationally on Daffodil Day this year.
Waterford has been a great supporter of Daffodil Day down through the years and 2018 looks set to be no exception.
Daffodil Day 2018 in Waterford was launched at the Rowe Creavin Medical Centre on Wednesday last March 7th.
Head of Fundraising with the Irish Cancer Society Mark Mellett said it was great to see so many familiar faces in attendance.
He praised the “phenomenal” amount of €75,000 which was raised in Waterford for last year’s Daffodil Day.
He explained that these funds go towards the provision of many different services, information and advice, as well as medical research.
“Our aim is to ensure that, wherever you are in Ireland, you don’t go through your cancer journey alone and you can access as service that’s right for you,” he said.
“I wish there was no need for Daffodil Day, but unfortunately there is. Instances of cancer are increasing. Statistics used to mention one in three people receiving a cancer diagnosis. Now, that’s changing to one in two.”
However, he highlighted the increased chances of survival and the ongoing research work which is taking place.
“Back in the 1960s, if someone received a cancer diagnosis it was bad news and the chances of survival were limited or none,” he said.
“In the 1990s, that increased to four out of 10. Now, six out of 10 people are surviving a cancer diagnosis. That’s down to the support you are giving through Daffodil Day.”
He continued: “People of Waterford have been instrumental in raising funds to help people affected by cancer, and we hope to see another show of support on March 23rd this year. As cancer instances increase, your support is needed more than ever before to ensure no one in our community faces cancer alone. Volunteer to sell Daffodils, or simply buy a Daffodil on March 23rd and make a difference to the lives of cancer patients and their families.”
He issued an assurance that the Irish Cancer Society is “a very transparent organisation”.“We publish all our expenditure annually on our website,” he explained.
He praised the hard working local committee in Waterford and the level of organisation involved in relation to their staging of Daffodil Day.
Anna Drynan Gale, local Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse based in the Daffodil Centre in University Hospital Waterford (UHW), also spoke at the launch.
The Daffodil Centre supported 3,820 members of the public during 2017.She explained that there is a very mixed cohort of people who avail of the centre’s services. The majority are females, mostly aged between 40 and 60. Many are people who are newly diagnosed, however, she pointed out that not every individual visitor actually has received a cancer diagnosis.The centre offers advice to those living with and caring for a cancer patient and also regularly engages with student bodies in relation to health promotion issues.
Support for cancer patients such as that which is offered through centre is vital according to cancer survivor Moya Byron, who volunteers in the UHW Daffodil Centre.
Moya was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and, when the Daffodil Centre opened in Waterford in 2013, she volunteered to support others facing cancer.
“I’ve been down that road before and I know how extremely lonely it can be. You think no one knows what you are going through,” she said.
“When the opportunity came up to help people going through cancer I decided to volunteer to support people who might be struggling. At the Daffodil Centre, patients, or anyone concerned about cancer, can come in and talk to a Cancer Nurse or a volunteer like me. No one should face cancer alone. By supporting Daffodil Day you can help ensure local people get this vital support.”