The newly crowned Rose of Tralee Elysha Brennan who is remission from cancer has said she is due to undergo a check-up scan before Christmas.
The Meath native (22) was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma weeks before her Leaving Cert began. And though she says she is in the "height of her health" now, she still undergoes health checks.
"My next scan will be just before Christmas. I'm a really stubborn person and I can work myself off the wall. But you can't help anyone else before you help yourself."
"I do have to mind myself, but thank you God, I'm in the height of my health," she told 2fm at the National Ploughing Championships this morning.
In her role as the Rose of Tralee, Elysha recently visited Kerry's palliative care centre where met "heroes" who were both patients and staff.
“I went back to Tralee which was lovely to experience it without the hubbub. I spent a few hours in a palliative care centre and that was amazing because I met people who are going through life’s challenges but they’re not sad, they’re such uplifted people, and I came away feeling so grateful for everything around me.”
“The doctors and nurses are my heroes, and it was great to spend that time with them because I wouldn’t get that time normally.”
In one month, the Meath native (22) will visit India to visit street children with the charity Hope Foundation.
“I’m going to India in a month with the Hope Foundation and that’ll be a really big deal for me because it’ll be my first time travelling on my own without my family. It’s going to be such an eye opening experience,” she told independent.ie.
Elysha is heeding the advice of her predecessor Maria Walsh who told her to “make and shake the year”.
“She’s been amazing, she’s in California at the moment but she’s been texting me. At the start, all she said to me was ‘be true to yourself, and make and shake the year as you want’.”
Elysha, the first Irish winner of the title in seven years, says though she misses college, she plans to give this year her all.
“It is weird not being in college. My friend sent me a snapchat from the lecture hall recently and I do miss it, but college will be waiting for me again next year. It’s hard to touch base with my friends all the time because I’m travelling.”
“My main ambition is that this time next year I can say, I gave it my all.”
For the moment, the beautiful rose says she is in her comfort zone visiting the Ploughing Championships this year.
“I did agricultural science for two years so it’s something I’m really interested in. My Mam was from a farm and my granddad was a cattle farmer.”
“I’m so comfortable here today, I’m in my boots, my jacket – as all of us girls know, heels are so uncomfortable.”