The vital services of the Irish Cancer Society were brought into focus on Monday as Donegal's Daffodil Day committee launched their 2019 campaign.

On average, 1,050 people in Donegal are diagnosed with cancer annually. Funds raised at Daffodil Day supports lifesaving cancer research and care services, making life more comfortable for patients and their families.

Checking the supply at the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil day launch event in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Monday last from left are Caithlin Sammon, Margaret McFadden, Boots, Ena Barrett and Veronica McAteer. Photo Clive Wasson

The event heard from local Night Nurse Sharon O’Connell, who is there for patients in their final days.

Last year 51 terminally ill cancer patients in Donegal received 196 nights of care, allowing them to remain at home during their final days. In order to provide the Night Nursing service and other free supports, the Irish Cancer Society needs to raise over €4m nationally on Daffodil Day this year.

‘Losing a loved one to cancer is heart-breaking.’ – Night Nurse Sharon O’Connell

Speaking in the Mount Errigal Hotel on Monday, Night Nurse Sharon said, “When I go into a family home, I am there to support the patient, and also their family members. I do my best to create a supportive and calm atmosphere at a very difficult time. Losing a loved one to cancer is heart-breaking. But I’m privileged to hear afterwards from many families what a source of comfort it was to spend those precious final moments at home with their loved one. When I finish my night shift, I go home knowing I have made a difference to my patient and their family.”

Donegal Daffodil Day committee from left are Caithlin Sammon, Veronica McAteer, Margaret McFadden, Lorraine McDaid, Ena Barrett, Alan Alcorn, Roisin McCaffrey, Elizabeth Gallagher and Valerie Gallagher. Photo Clive Wasson

To ensure continued services such as night nursing, the Donegal Daffodil Day committee has appealed for a strong show of public support as they prepare to take to the streets on March 22nd to raise crucial funds for cancer patients.

Members of the public can volunteer to sell Daffodils on the day, or simply buy a daffodil from local volunteers or their local Boots store.

Donegal Daffodil Day committee with the support of Boots prepare to take to the streets on March 22nd to raise crucial funds for cancer patients. Photo Clive Wasson

Ena Barrett speaking at the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil day launch. Photo Clive Wasson

Public support is crucial according to local organiser Veronica McAteer who urged locals to show their support on Daffodil Day.

“People of Donegal have always been generous in their support of Daffodil Day, but with more people being diagnosed with cancer, we need to ramp up our efforts to ensure they get the help they need. Not only will donations fund services like Night Nursing, but also cancer research to help more people survive cancer. Please help us by volunteering to sell daffodils, or simply by buying a daffodil on March 22nd,” Veronica said.

Boots Ireland is the official main sponsor of Daffodil Day and local stores will be getting involved in the fundraising efforts. Over six years Boots Ireland have raised over €1.4m for the Night Nursing service.

Margaret McFadden, Manager of Boots store in Letterkenny said: “We are delighted to support Daffodil Day again this year and to play our part in helping families affected by cancer. Pop in store to buy a pin or add a €1 donation when making a purchase. Every euro will make a big difference in the fight against cancer.”

To get involved in Daffodil Day locally contact Ena on 087 7381055.

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