Donegal Rose Chloe Kennedy has impressed viewers after her positive and funny interview in Tralee tonight.
The 20-year-old Psychology student started her appearance on a high note, with a big ‘Up Donegal’ filling the Dome. And she got a wonderful surprise when she got a celebrity message sent in from Majella O’Donnell to wish her well.
In her interview with Daithi O Se, Chloe opened up about the shock of her recent cancer diagnosis.
— Rose of Tralee (@RoseofTralee_) August 27, 2019
She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the end of last year and spoke about the impact it had on her and her family.
“It was harder seeing what it did to other people,” brave Chloe said about her illness.
“I found a strength in myself that I didn’t know I had.”
Laughter filled the room when Chloe revealed that, despite her challenging year, she was fond of the sesh!
Loving the Donegal Rose … 11 months after receiving a cancer diagnosis, 4 months after finishing chemotherapy and she is standing like a champ on the rose of tralee stage #inspirational #donegalroseforthewin #roseoftralee
— Karen O'Dowd (@kcroche) August 27, 2019
She said that she had good weeks and bad weeks while having chemo treatment, and the good weeks would involve seeing friends and going ‘on the sesh’.
Viewers on Twitter liked Chloe’s honesty and relatability, with many commenting that she was a beautiful and inspirational young woman.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the donegal rose , what a beauty and an absolute inspiration!!
— Ailbhe O'Donnell (@ailbheod3) August 27, 2019
Chloe had her proud parents – dad Pauric Kennedy, mum Jenni Timoney, stepdad Donal Gallagher, and many more family members and friends cheering her on in the audience.
But one famous face was cheering her on from elsewhere – Majella O’Donnell.
Chloe mentioned how Majella’s famous head shave on the Late Late Show inspired her as she prepared to shave her own head. “If she can do it, then I can do it,” Chloe said.
In a heartwarming surprise moment for Chloe, a video clip was shown from Majella wishing her luck and strength.
Chloe’s treatment was a success, and she said that hearing she was cancer free was a ‘phenomenal’ feeling.
“It’s the best feeling in the world. I hope so many people who get that diagnosis will get to hear it,” Chloe said.
The interview ended on a fun note – with another mention of the sesh!
The Donegal Rose's mum is so gonna kill her if she mentions 'the Sesh' one more time 😂 #RoseOfTralee2019
— Marisa Reidy (@marisapreidy) August 27, 2019
Daithi wondered about the Roses’ timetables during the festival, and Chloe let slip that there have been a few late nights on the schedule.
In all, she said she feels fortunate to be part of such a special event as the Rose of Tralee.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, I’m really lucky to experience it.”
Limerick Rose Sinead Flanagan was named as the overall winner of the 60th annual competition.
What an inspiring story from Donegal Rose, Chloe Kennedy. Powerfully, heartfelt, honest & positively inspiring description of her experience of living with #Cancer#RoseOfTralee2019 #RoseofTralee#cancersurvivor
— John Wall (@walls2) August 27, 2019
I know I’m biased but Chloë, the Donegal Rose, is the winner. She comes across as a really warm, humble and positive young woman. The fact that she’s gotten the nod from Majella is an added bonus. Ádh mór #RoseOfTralee2019
— Ann Doherty (@annsinead) August 27, 2019