Kildare cancer survivor named ‘Hero of Hope’
Thyroid cancer survivor Amy Mahon from Newbridge, Co Kildare has been named as the Irish ‘Global Hero of Hope’ on World Cancer Day, Sunday, 4 February.
Heroes of Hope are cancer survivors who inspire hope, courage and determination in the fight against cancer. Amy joins ‘Heroes’ from countries including South Africa, America and Germany who have been recognised by the American Cancer Society.
Amy was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 aged 29. Two years previously she was diagnosed with a borderline underactive thyroid and by the time her cancer was discovered it had spread to her lymph nodes. She had her thyroid removed and radioactive iodine treatment. This required the single mum to be in isolation for five days, away from her five-year-old son.
Amy is now five years cancer free but the removal of her thyroid has resulted in lasting complications. Despite this, the nail and lash technician is determined to live her life to the full. She said, “Cancer has changed my life. I had to change my career and lifestyle and I have some health complications but I don’t allow this to define me. Cancer made my life new, not different.”
Amy was supported by the Irish Cancer Society during her treatment and as a result got involved in the Society’s Relay For Life in Kildare. Relay For Life is a 24 hour event that brings the community together to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, remember those lost to the disease and fight back by increasing knowledge of cancer and raising money to fund vital research and services of the Society.
Amy said, “40,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Ireland this year. The money we raise will help fund vital research to treat cancer better and services to help people affected by the disease. Relay For Life also brings communities together to fight against an illness that can sadly make a person feel so alone. If I can help anyone feel like there is light at the end of that dark tunnel, I will walk over glass to do that.”
Mary Quinn, Relay For Life Fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society said: “Amy is a very deserving Hero of Hope and we are thrilled that she has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to Relay For Life Kildare. Despite her cancer diagnosis and the ongoing impact this has on her life, Amy has maintained such a positive attitude and is a beacon of hope for people affected by cancer.”
For more information on Relay For Life events in Ireland, or to start one in your community, see www.cancer.ie/relayforlife. For more information on Relay for Life Kildare contact Ozzie O’Toole on 0870910768.