Monday 26 February 2018

Brave Majella to have preventative mastectomy

Majella and Daniel O'Donnell
Majella and Daniel O'Donnell
Majella O’Donnell with husband Daniel pictured at Clery’s in O’Connell Street in Dublin yesterday
Singer Daniel O’Donnell with his wife Majella - he says her cancer is gone
Majella O'Donnell
Daniel O'Donnell and his wife Majella on their wedding day

BRAVE Majella O'Donnell has revealed she will undergo a mastectomy next year in order to remain cancer-free.

In a procedure similar to one undergone by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, the 53-year-old will have one of her breasts removed in a preventative operation planned after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

"I'm fine now but I will be having a mastectomy, but that's prophylactic as they say. It's preventative," Majella told the Irish Independent.

"I don't have it at the moment, so anything I do from now on is to prevent it coming back."

Majella raised €500,000 for the Irish Cancer Society when she had her hair shaved live on the 'Late Late Show' after being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

"I feel great. I think once you have chemotherapy out of the way, you feel on a high anyway because you don't have to go through that hopefully again," she added.

What made matters harder was that husband Daniel was on tour in the US while Majella stayed in Ireland to undergo treatment.

The pair were reunited yesterday at Dublin Airport for the first time since October 26.

The couple were then swamped by well-wishers when Daniel was invited to cut the ribbon on a new Best of Irish Designs Collection in department store Clerys.

"I got very emotional seeing Daniel; there were lots of smiles and hugs because it was the longest time we've ever been apart," she said.

"So that's why I had to come today, I couldn't let him out of my sight.

"I'm used to him being away, that's the way our marriage has always been.

"But having said that, usually when he's in America for that length, I go with him. This is the first time I haven't gone with him, because I was having the treatment.

"So in that respect, it was hard, but it was probably harder for Daniel."

Her husband revealed how his heart had missed a beat seeing his wife waiting for him at arrivals.

"I've been away for six weeks, which is a long time. We had a great reunion at the airport when she came to pick me up," Daniel said.

Despite their high spirits Majella said it would be a "quiet Christmas" after the sudden passing of her dad, Tom, in Tenerife in October.

"Absolutely, it's going to make it harder, but you have to face the challenge," she said.

However, there was nothing but joy in Clerys yesterday with Daniel mobbed by female fans.

But his wife said she is used to female attention. "I don't mind, I'm used to it after 11 years," joked Majella.

By Ken Sweeney

Irish Independent

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