The bravery and fundraising work of Ardara woman Theresa Stanley was highlighted during a special interview on the first Rose of Tralee selection night of 2019.

Theresa’s daughter Tanya is the Boston and New England Rose of 2019, who used her time on the stage to praise her mother’s outstanding efforts for the American Cancer Society.

Theresa (née O’Rourke) was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2011, just a few months after her best friend Tracy discovered she had breast cancer.

“She tried to hide the news but then she finally had to tell us,” Tanya told presenter Daithí Ó Sé during the emotional interview.

Tanya was delighted to say that her mother was now cancer free and does great fundraising work for charity.

Theresa and her friend Tracy formed a team called T-N-T and together they have made great achievements in the local Relay for Life. “Every year when we got together they would raise the most money and they would always be number one,” Tanya said.

Tanya also gained great advice from her mother as she prepared for the pageant. 

Theresa was Miss Ardara of 1987, so gave Tanya a very handy tip for the festival: ‘Smile and wave!’

The Rose of Tralee continues tonight on RTE One from 8pm. Donegal Rose Chloe Kennedy will be facing her live interview this evening, before the 2019 winner is crowed at the end of the show.