Former RTE newsreader Aengus MacGrianna is urging businesses in Laois to support cancer patients and their families by getting behind the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day on Friday, March 22.
This is to ensure as many patients as possible receive the help and support they need this year.
Aengus, who lives on an alpaca farm run by his husband Terry, is calling on businesses in Laois to help the Irish Cancer Society meet ever increasing demands for services such as counselling.
Aengus was just 11 when he lost his mother to cancer, and her death was devastating for his whole family.
He said: “Losing mum to cancer was heart-breaking, especially as she was so young and we were still growing up. It was an extremely tough time.
“The Irish Cancer Society’s free counselling sessions for families affected by cancer didn’t exist when I was younger.
“This support, which is only available because of Daffodil Day donations, could be a lifeline for someone struggling with the impact of a diagnosis.
“Get your workplace involved on March 22 to ensure families like ours can receive free services and get the help they need to cope with a cancer diagnosis.”
Last year, with the help of Daffodil Day donations, 364 counselling sessions were provided to people from Laois to help them deal with a cancer diagnosis.
This represents an 18% increase in the number of sessions provided in 2016.
With cancer incidence on the rise, the Society expects even more people to seek counselling in 2019, a demand that can only be met if enough funds are raised on Daffodil Day.
Companies can help rally around their customers and staff affected by cancer by hosting a fundraising coffee morning in work or by volunteering to sell daffodils on the day.
Boots Ireland is the sponsor of Daffodil Day this year and all 87 stores are backing the campaign by selling daffodils and hosting instore fundraisers.
Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society Averil Power said, “Because more people are getting cancer each year, not everyone is getting the care and support they need.
“We must do more to ensure we can support every cancer patient. With the help of local companies and supporters on Daffodil Day, cancer patients and their families can receive free counselling sessions across the country through our affiliated cancer support centres.
“To help deliver more care and support locally, and meet increasing demands, we are asking more companies to get involved in Daffodil Day this year.”
Bernadette Lavery, MD, Boots Ireland said: “Boots staff come face to face with people facing cancer every day.
“We do our best to offer support through local services such as the Boot Irish Cancer Society Information Pharmacists, who are trained specifically to provide information and advice on cancer, and our Beauty Cancer Advisors, who help women manage the visible side effects of cancer.
“Staff in our 87 stores are looking forward to showing further support for people affected by cancer on March 22, with cyclathons, bake sales and other fundraising activities taking place in our stores around the country.”