Clonmany woman Roseena Doherty Toner is urging the people of Donegal to support cancer patients by getting involved with the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day fundraiser. 

Roseena, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) two years ago, underwent a life-saving bone marrow transplant in early 2022.

During her illness, the mum-of-five became a steadfast campaigner for improved services for cancer patients in the northwest.

As Daffodil Day approaches on Friday 24th March, Roseena is telling her personal story to encourage other people to listen to their bodies.

Roseena Doherty Toner

In June 2021, Roseena Doherty had a temperature and sore throat that wouldn’t go away. After taking a Covid-19 test, which was negative, she was prescribed a course of antibiotics by her GP. Not long after this, Roseena began feeling too ill to get out of bed and unable to swallow any food or fluids and was taken to A & E in Letterkenny Hospital.

Roseena was later transferred from Letterkenny to Galway University Hospital, where she underwent further tests. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and it was established that she would need four rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

Roseena said: “Until I was diagnosed with AML, it’s not something I’d ever really heard of and I knew absolutely nothing about it. I met other patients with leukaemia who had symptoms like tiredness and bruising but that wasn’t my experience. I had a sore throat and a temperature.

“Sometimes with a cancer diagnosis, we think we have to be very brave. When people say to me that I’m dealing it with very well and that I’m so positive, I would say we have all have our harder days with our diagnosis, no matter how we look. There can be a day when something just hits you out of the blue and maybe for 10 minutes you’ll have that cry. However then you’ll just dry yourself off and you get on with it again.

“I am delighted to be supporting the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day as this is one day in our year when we can take something back from cancer.”

Roseena Doherty Toner

On top of funding life-changing cancer research, the Irish Cancer Society provides vital services and supports to patients and their families across Donegal each year, including 171 free counselling sessions, 188 nights of in-home Night Nursing for cancer patients in their final days, and 480 free lifts to get patients safely to and from their hospital chemotherapy appointments in 2022.

The Irish Cancer Society is calling on the public to take part in any way they can to show solidarity and support for anyone affected by cancer, and says that this year’s Daffodil Day is their most important yet.

As well as donating at and volunteering to help fundraise, people can purchase items from the Daffodil Day online shop and take part in a Steps Challenge.