Some of those who attended the launch of Daffodil Day in Letterkenny's Mount Errigal Hotel. PICTURE: CLIVE WASSON
The Donegal Daffodil Day committee have appealed for the public’s support as they prepare to take to the streets on Friday, March 22 to raise crucial funds for cancer patients.
On average, 1,050 people in Donegal are diagnosed with cancer annually. The Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day, which is proudly supported by Boots Ireland, funds crucial support services for people affected by cancer and lifesaving cancer research.
Members of the public can volunteer to sell Daffodils on the day, or simply buy a daffodil from local volunteers or their local Boots store.
Speaking at the launch of Donegal Daffodil Day, held in Mount Errigal Hotel on Monday, local Night Nurse Sharon O'Connell spoke about the role she plays in supporting patients during their final days. Last year 51 terminally ill cancer patients in Donegal received 196 nights of care, allowing them to remain at home during their final days. In order to provide the Night Nursing service and other free supports, the Irish Cancer Society needs to raise over €4m nationally on Daffodil Day this year.
Committee members and volunteers pictured at Monday night's Daffodil Day launch in Letterkenny. PICTURE: CLIVE WASSON
Night Nurse Sharon said, “When I go into a family home, I am there to support the patient, and also their family members. I do my best to create a supportive and calm atmosphere at a very difficult time. Losing a loved one to cancer is heart-breaking.
"But I’m privileged to hear afterwards from many families what a source of comfort it was to spend those precious final moments at home with their loved one. When I finish my night shift, I go home knowing I have made a difference to my patient and their family.”
Public support is crucial according to local organiser Veronica McAteer who urged locals to show their support on Daffodil Day.
“People of Donegal have always been generous in their support of Daffodil Day, but with more people being diagnosed with cancer, we need to ramp up our efforts to ensure they get the help they need," she said.
"Not only will donations fund services like Night Nursing, but also cancer research to help more people survive cancer. Please help us by volunteering to sell daffodils, or simply by buying a daffodil on March 22."
Boots Ireland is the official main sponsor of Daffodil Day and local stores will be getting involved in the fundraising efforts. Over six years Boots Ireland have raised over €1.4m for the Night Nursing service.
Margaret McFadden, Manager of Boots store in Letterkenny said: “We are delighted to support Daffodil Day again this year and to play our part in helping families affected by cancer. Pop in store to buy a pin or add a €1 donation when making a purchase. Every euro will make a big difference in the fight against cancer.”
To get involved in Daffodil Day locally contact Ena on 087 7381055.
For more information visit www.cancer.ie/daffodilday