Date: 
June 24, 2019

“We’re proud to support LGBTI+ cancer patients across Ireland” – Irish Cancer Society taking part in Dublin LGBTQ Pride Parade for first time this year

 The Irish Cancer Society is proud to provide confidential and compassionate advice and support to LGBTI+ cancer patients and their loved ones across Ireland, it has said. Conscious LGBTI+ people can have particular healthcare needs, the charity is taking part in the Dublin Pride Parade for the first time next weekend. 

CEO Averil Power said: “Cancer can affect us all. We want everyone to know that, no matter who you are, or who you love, we’re here to help.

”Some LGBTI+ people feel uncomfortable talking to their doctor about personal issues, such as the impact of cancer treatment on their sexual function or their relationships. The portrayal of certain cancers, such as cervical or prostate cancer, as gender-specific can also overlook the needs of the transgender community.

“Our cancer nurses are trained to treat everyone with kindness, compassion, and dignity at all times. Every call to our free Nurseline or conversation had in our Daffodil Centres is treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect."

The charity is also conscious LGBTI+ people are more likely to develop certain cancers, such as those caused by HPV. It has partnered with BeLonG To Youth Services and the Gay Health Network as part of the HPV Vaccination Alliance, to increase awareness of the vaccine among the LGBTI+ community. It is also consulting LGBTI+ groups as part of the development of the Society’s new 5-year strategy.

Next Saturday, Irish Cancer Society staff, volunteers and supporters will walk together in the Dublin Pride Parade, led by CEO Averil Power and ‘Daff Man’ James Gilleran.

James, dressed head-to-toe in hundreds of daffodil pins, has fundraised each Daffodil Day for the Irish Cancer Society for the past 25 years.

“My partner Tony died last June and, before he went into hospice care, a night nurse from the Irish Cancer Society spent a night with us. It was a huge help – she looked after Tony so well, and gave me the respite I needed so that, in his final days, I could be there for him at his bedside.

“Tony always encouraged me to play the ‘Daff Man’ on Daffodil Day and was hugely supportive. I lost my father and aunt to cancer, while Tony lost his two sisters. So the Irish Cancer Society’s work really meant a lot to both of us.

“There isn’t a family in Ireland who hasn’t been affected by cancer. I want everyone to know that families like mine will get the same level of care, compassion and support from the Irish Cancer Society as any other. That’s why I’m happy to don my daffodil suit and join them in the Pride Parade next Saturday."

Anyone who would like to walk with the Irish Cancer Society in the Pride Parade can register to take part.

To speak to a cancer nurse on any aspect of cancer, contact our Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700, email cancernurseline@irishcancer.ie  or drop into one of our 13 Daffodil Centres in hospitals nationwide.