independent

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Bray author photographs herself as she gets radiation treatment

Mary Fogarty

Published 26/03/2014 | 05:22

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Bray author Emma Hannigan took a unique 'no makeup selfie' as she lay on a radiation table wearing her radiation mask for cancer treatment.

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The mask is designed to keep her head and neck still so the lasers can directly hit the cancer.

The viral social media phenomenon has raised hundreds of thousands of euro for cancer charities over the past week with women going bare-faced online and making a donation to either the Irish Cancer Society or another chosen charity.

'We saw a significant spike in online donations and it's still coming in,' said Conor O'Leary of Bray Cancer Support Centre.

While over €700,000 has been raised so far for the Irish Cancer Society, the amount donated to unrelated local charities has not been quantified so the national total is estimated to be close to €1 million so far.

Emma, who is battling cancer for the ninth time, said that she is puzzled by a backlash towards the no makeup selfie from some quarters.

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'One comment I've read is that it puts women under pressure to join in. My opinion on that is very simple. If you don't want to do it – don't. You have a choice. But may I remind you, women with cancer have no choice,' she said.

'This campaign is hurting nobody. It's not dangerous, illegal or nasty. It has promoted widespread discussion about breast cancer. The cancer charities are receiving much-needed funds. It doesn't cost a lot and all you need is a camera and a face and a couple of euro to donate. So it's inclusive no matter what our colour, creed, age or means.'

She said that she is still alive due to astonishing advances in medicine which can only come about with continued funding.

'The no makeup selfie will help to save lives. It will help to keep people alive.'

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