‘Early detection is key’
By Mary Dennehy
AFTER being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41, Audrey Hillary turned to the Tallaght Cancer Support Group to help her connect with people going through similar experiences.
Living in Kiltipper, Audrey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, after which she underwent 15 months of treatment.
At a presentation of a cheque to Tallaght Cancer Support Group on Tuesday were Ken Dowd, Audrey Hillary and Veronica Daly (Quadient) with Frances and Liam (TCSG)
Audrey, who shared her story during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, spoke with The Echo to raise awareness among younger women of the importance of checking your breasts, and of the support services available locally.
Due to the support Audrey received from the Tallaght Cancer Support Group, Audrey’s place of work, Quadient in Clondalkin, donated the funds raised through their annual fundraiser to the Tallaght Village-based support group.
“There was no history of breast cancer in my family”, Audrey told The Echo.
“I contacted the Tallaght Cancer Support Group to meet people in a similar position as me, and to avail of their services like reflexology, acupuncture, meditation and counselling.
“The support group was a Godsend.
Audrey Hillary is raising awareness among young women of the importance of getting your breasts checked
“It gave me something to do for myself outside of going to hospital for treatment, and helped me to meet other people going through similar experiences.
“My family was also a great support, they were absolutely amazing and so were my friends.
“However, no one really understood, and that’s where the Tallaght Cancer Support Group came into play.
“Linking in with support services is just as important as the medical treatment.”
Alongside her family and friends, Audrey also thanked her colleagues at Quadient for their support, and for raising €2,785 for the Tallaght Cancer Support Group.
“The money raised from our annual fundraiser, my job gave back to Tallaght Cancer Support Group because of the great support they have been to me and others”, Audrey said.
“There are services available that people may not know about, and Quadient have been amazing in helping to raise awareness and put money back into these services in Tallaght.”
Quadient has also registered for Breast Cancer Ireland’s Great Pink Run this Saturday, which, a virtual event this year, will see Audrey and her co-workers take on individual runs.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, with Audrey encouraging women to check their breasts and know the signs.
Audrey also encouraged younger women, who have not reached the breast cancer screening age of 50, to check their breasts and contact their GP about any changes or concerns.
“Early detection is key”, Audrey said.
“I know people can be scared, but the earlier you go to your GP, the better.
“A visit to your GP can also put your mind at ease.”
Based in Tallaght Village, the Tallaght Cancer Support Group offers support to people living across South Dublin County.
Founded in 2007, it provides support, friendship and holistic therapies to people touched by cancer and their family and friends.
Services, which are free, have been suspended at present, but phone counselling is still available.
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