Eight years ago this Summer, my father will have passed away. At the age of 65, he sadly lost his battle with prostate cancer on a Summer’s day in Kerry hospital. To this day (and always), my family and I are truly grateful for the time we had with him and the legacy he’s left behind. From guitar-playing around the pubs of North Kerry to being known as the man with the strength of an ox in his younger farming days, I’ll be listening to stories from family members and neighbors for years to come. A wonderful father and even better human being, he won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
This week, I will remember my father like so many people across Ireland will remember someone they’ve lost to this disease. As we all know, it affects 1 in 3 of us at some stage in our lives and therefore, nobody is going to be a stranger to its harm and sadness.
Thankfully, this Friday the sun will shine a little brighter as The Irish Cancer Society‘s Daffodil Day campaign takes place nationwide. Individual volunteers as well as businesses and schools will pull together to raise well-needed funds. The fact of the matter is, the more support this cause has, the closer it gets to finding more treatments and one day, a cure.
In case you’re wondering, it’s still not too late to organise something or, to volunteer. Get in touch with one of the co-ordinators here.
As I was curious about all that has been achieved by the Irish Cancer Society through their fundraising efforts, I thought you would be too. Below are just some of the stats they shared via an infographic earlier this week.
* From 1963 to 2014, 30 million euros was raised and used towards cancer research. As the charity is funded by 95% donations, it is days like Daffodil Day that have enabled such research.
* 78c of every euro is spent on reducing the risk of getting cancer and improving the lives of those who have cancer.
* In 2013, 17,469 queries were answered by the Cancer information services. These refer to queries by patients, their families and anyone who has concerns regarding their own health.
* Every year, 20 million euros is raised through fund-raising efforts such as Daffodil Day, corporate events and initiatives across Ireland.
If you’re not around on Daffodil day and fundraising just isn’t your thing, that’s okay too. There’s loads each you can do to battle this deadly disease. You already know most of what I’m going to say but allow me to say it anyway.
* Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables plus avoiding processed foods or ANYTHING that has been touched by chemicals or preservatives is advised. If possible, eating organic also makes a massive difference to our bodies and minds (try the local farmers’ markets for less-expensive and non-glow in the dark produce).
* By keeping active, you’re keeping your general health in tact. Ensure you partake in at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This can include a brisk walk, run, game of tennis, swim and much more (whatever you’re in to).
* I believe that no matter what else we do, stress will affect us in really awful ways if we let it. Ensure you find ways to wade off stress be it exercise, diet (both necessary) or meditation. Focusing our minds and taking time to calm ourselves is imperative in this busy world we live in. Give yourself, your body and your mind a break.
* Keeping an eye on your weight is imperative. Obesity and being over-weight in general has been linked to a number of cancers and therefore, this needs to be managed. Ensuring exercise and diet regimes are adhered to is vital.
For more information on how to avoid the risk, visit the advice section on Cancer.ie
If you’re about and see some daffodils for sale, be sure to at least stop for a chat. And if you see me, definitely stop for a chat. Wear your daffodil with pride and power.