Brosna woman, Maryann Downes describes herself as 'A Cancer Survivor' and considers herself one of the lucky ones who are in a position to help other women going through what they have experienced.
As part of her campaign to help others, Maryann harnessed the goodwill of family, friends and neighbours in Brosna on Saturday and organised a coffee morning in aid of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute.
"The coffee morning raised €1,130; it was such a great success and away beyond my expectations. My friends and neighbours came up trumps - then again everyone has been affected by this terrible disease. Having come through breast cancer myself it is not easy but one has to get on with it. I was one of the lucky ones with the type of cancer I got - as research has found new treatment to cure it. I'm hoping that one day soon a total cure for cancer can be found," said Maryann.
Maryann's sister, Johanna has links to the NBCRI laboratory which is based in the Clinical Science Institute on the grounds of University Hospital, Galway. The research team is made up of staff and students from National University of Ireland, Galway.
Breast cancer accounts for the greatest number of cancers diagnosed and the greatest number of deaths from cancer in women in Ireland.
Thanks to the emphasis on early disease detection by awareness campaigns, the national expansion of BreastCheck and improved services within the eight designated National Cancer Control Programme centres, major advances in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of breast cancer have been made over the past decade.
These advances are possible only because of the relentless fundraising campaigns organised by the like of Maryann Downes in towns and villages throughout the country.