First cancer conference for Donegal set for next week

Cancer survivors and carers at an earlier Relay for Life Donegal marathon at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Cancer survivors and carers at an earlier Relay for Life Donegal marathon at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

The Relay for Life Donegal committee, in association with the Irish Cancer Society, are organising Donegal’s first cancer conference.

The conference will be held on April 5th in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny. Check-in begins from 9am and the conference will run from 10am to 4pm.

The theme of the conference is “For You, Because of You, Thanks to You.”

Cancer survivors are Relay for Life’s VIPs, and are central to every Relay for Life event. This conference has been organised to highlight Relay for Life Donegal’s commitment and to demonstrate their support to all cancer patients, their caregivers, their families and their friends.

The upcoming event has been described as the first time that a conference has been delivered for survivors, caregivers and interested parties.

Ena Barrett, staff partner, said, “Our key speakers, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge, will discuss a wide range of topics which will be relevant and of great benefit and interest to all who attend”.

An integral part of the day-long conference will be the specialised sessions, including Men and Cancer; Women and Cancer; Carers Caring For a Loved One with Cancer and Childhood Cancer - A Child Changed, A Family Changed.

Mags Coyle (education and awareness), said, “Our conference will showcase the amazing extended oncology team from Letterkenny General Hospital”. She said they were “further privileged to have renowned names present at the conference”, including Mr. Michael Sugrue, MRCSI, consultant surgeon, Letterkenny General Hospital; Ursula Bates, head of psychology at Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross; Dr Osama Salib, radiation oncology, St Lukes; Una Cardin, cross-border radiotherapy unit manager; Professor John Fitzpatrick, retired professor of surgery in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and University College Dublin, who is now head of research at The Irish Cancer Society.

A special break-out session for families who are caring for a child with cancer or for those who have lost a child will be hosted by Mary O’Rourke and Annelle Rowen, senior social workers from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Siobhan Diver, PRO, said that Bernie Gallagher and Conal Gallen have kindly agreed to share their cancer experiences at the conference, and the Survivors Choir will also make a special appearance.

Donegal manager, Jim McGuinness, will outline both the psychological and physical benefits of exercise following a cancer treatment.

The master of ceremonies for the conference will be broadcaster Charlie Collins.

Admission is free (including lunch). Early booking is essential, as places are strictly limited and there will be no registration available on the day.

Anyone who would like to attend the conference should email the committee at or telephone one of the following, Ena at 087 9966096, Mags at 087 6865828, Laura at 086 3517202 or Robert at 087 2716344.


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