CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap helps launch Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day

CervicalCheck campaigner Stephen Teap helps launch Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day
Shannen Joyce (centre) with patient advocate Stephen Teap and CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day. Also pictured is Bernadette Lavery, MD of Boots Ireland, Kamal Ibrahim and volunteer James Gilleran aka Daff Man. Pic: Andres Poveda

CervicalCheck campaigner, Stephen Teap, is urging people to get behind the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day to help fund much-needed supports.

Mr Teap from Carrigaline, Co Cork, lost his wife, Irene, to cervical cancer in July 2017. He has two sons, Oscar and Noah, now aged seven and four.

“Irene and I were no different from any other couple. We were young and starting our lives together as a family when cancer chose us,” he said.

“We did not get help from the Irish Cancer Society because we did not know who to turn to at the time. Everything just happened so fast that we just didn't have the opportunity to go anywhere.”

A year after his wife's death, Mr Teap together with fellow campaigners, Vicky Phelan and Lorraine Walsh launched the 221+ Patient Support Group.

The group provides information, advice and support for women and families directly affected failures in the CervicalCheck screening programme.

Mr Teap hopes that 221+ could evolve into a support service for women diagnosed with cervical cancer. “That is certainly the plan for it,” he said.

“It is great to see the Irish Cancer Society launch initiatives around the provision of aftercare for women with cervical cancer. There is a burning need for a focus on women who get cervical cancer and having a support service there for themselves.”

Shannen Joyce, a young mother, and two-time cancer survivor, also urged people to support Daffodil Day that takes place on Friday, March 27.

Ms Joyce, 25, from Youghal, Co Cork, was twice diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma at very different life stages.

She was a 19-year-old college student when she was first diagnosed and the second time she was a mother to Róisín, now aged three.

Ms Joyce, who has built a large social media following, wants people to know that cancer does not discriminate on the grounds of age or gender.

Chief executive of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power, said the charity relies on public donations to fund 97% of its income and needs to raise €4m on Daffodil Day alone.

"This money is used to fund crucial services like the Daffodil Centres, free counselling and our volunteer driver services. We want our services to be available to everyone who needs them. We simply cannot do this without the public's support," she said.

Boots Ireland has raised €1.7m for the charity and is sponsoring Daffodil day for the third year in a row.

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