Public asked to dig deep for Daffodil Day

Cancer sufferers have urged the public to dig deep this Daffodil Day to help ensure services are in place for the 43,000 more people expected to be diagnosed with the condition over the next eight years.

Speaking ahead of the 25th anniversary of the annual fundraising event, which takes place today, Irish Cancer Society chief executive John McCormack said despite the dire economic situation, the public should still try to donate what they can.

Cancer sufferers, he said, need the vital support now just as badly as during the Celtic Tiger years. Cancer did not stop just because the country was facing tougher financial times, he said.

As many as 43,000 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in Ireland by 2020, Mr McCormack said.

The situation is likely to place already stretched services under further strain at a time when helpline calls, home-based nursing and the need for direct financial aid to the worst affected families is increasing.

Last year, almost 30,000 people were diagnosed with a form of cancer in Ireland, while in the past five years up to 100,000 people have contacted the society’s helpline.

In 2011 alone, the society’s night nurses provided more than 8,000 nights of care for free to 2,014 patients at home, up 13% on the 2010 figure.

The independent support group provided direct financial aid worth over €1.06m to 1,943 cancer patients to help them overcome the ordeal.

Mr McCormack said: “The increase [in predicted diagnoses over the next eight years] is due to an ageing and increasing population and a general neglect of healthy lifestyle behaviours, and is placing a massive demand on our services, which are funded entirely through voluntary contributions.”

The society has set a target of €3.5m in donations this year. People can donate online at cancer.ie or call 1850 60 60 60.

They can also donate by planting a virtual daffodil at gardenofhope.ie or buying Daffodil Day-related products from 5,000 volunteers across the country.

* Irish Cancer Society freephone helpline: 1800 200 700.

FOCionnaith.direct@examiner.ie

Cancer facts

* The Irish Cancer Society’s annual fundraising drive, Daffodil Day, is 25 years old today.

* It has set a target of €3.5m in donations this year to help ensure the entirely donation-funded services can continue during the recession.

* Up to 43,000 more cancer diagnoses are expected to be made across Ireland within the next eight years.

* Last year, almost 30,000 people were diagnosed with a type of cancer in Ireland.

* In the past five years, up to 100,000 people have contacted the society’s helpline.

* In 2011 alone, the society’s night nurses provided more than 8,000 nights of care for free to 2,014 patients in their homes across the country, up 13% on 2010.

* In addition, the independent support group provided direct financial aid worth over €1.06m to 1,943 cancer patients in an attempt to help them overcome the ordeal.


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