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Tony to host gala ball as he battles back from lung cancer

Tony Walsh from Ballintra is organising major charity event

Matt Britton

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Matt Britton

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editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

Tony to host gala ball as he battles back from lung cancer

Tony Walsh was an outdoors man - a man closely involved in the construction industry and a a man with a frequent presence on the sideline at Naomh Bríd and Donegal Matches - he was a 'hardy man'.
Cancer was not a word even on the Ballintra man’s radar but like many others in the country, the disease often referred to as “the uninvited guest” struck him with very little warning.
Speaking to the Democrat in advance of his Charity Ball on February 24th in the Central Hotel he said, “I suppose I was like all men - we don't do sickness very well, we don’t discuss it and to a great degree we just bury our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away.”
Continuing he said, “Back in December 2014 I had what I thought was a bad flu and did the usual - paracetamol, cough mixtures etc., all to no avail. I had a very bast chest infection, coughing and spluttering and a total lack of energy.
“Eventually I went to my doctor and I think my relationship with him was exemplified by his reaction to seeing me - 'God, it must be bad if you’re here'.
“I went off for the usual tests - X- rays in the local hospital and then further scans and a biopsy in Letterkenny University Hospital thinking nothing really about it.
“ I was called back within a week where the doctor delivered the news - 'Mr. Walsh, I have bad news for you, you have lung cancer'.
“This was just shattering. I went into a total blank and was devoid of any feeling. It was if I was up on the ceiling looking down on the whole scenario but that man below me wasn’t Tony Walsh. It was a feeling that words can’t really describe - a death sentence.”
He added, “The doctor was exceptional, told me all about the modern advances in science and medicine and convinced me that there was hope, there was light. I had no choice I just had to be positive and I feel positivity is a great ingredient in dealing with any illness.” Without going into the various treatments that Tony incurred it is suffice to say that he went into St. James's Hospital in Dublin, had his right lung removed and was back home in Rossnowlagh within six weeks,
Tony commented, “People can be very critical of our health system - we do have problems, but I just cannot say enough about them. I did not have any insurance but received exactly the same treatment as any other. I owe my life to them.”
Concluding he said, “I suppose my story can serve as an early warning to many out there - as men we don't really confide that well in others when we are suffering from an ailment.
“Listen to your body and confide with your doctor. It could well help you avoid those lifechanging words.”
Tony is holding his ball to create awareness but also for the Marie Keating Foundation, St. James's Hospital and Target Lung Cancer and sincerely asks for everybody's support on this special occasion on Saturday week, Feb. 24th.