Friday 20 September 2019

Inspiring: BBC names Vicky in top 100 women

Recognised: Vicky Phelan, with children Darragh and Amelia, was handed an honorary fellowship by Waterford Institute of Technology
Recognised: Vicky Phelan, with children Darragh and Amelia, was handed an honorary fellowship by Waterford Institute of Technology
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

Cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan said she feels "privileged" to be named in the BBC's list of 100 most influential and inspiring women of 2018.

The Limerick woman is credited with exposing the CervicalCheck scandal, which made international headlines, and highlighting failures in the screening programme.

The 44-year-old mother of two features in the 'BBC 100 Women' list alongside other well-known faces including Chelsea Clinton, former first daughter and vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, and 'Derry Girls' writer Lisa McGee.

Writing on Twitter, Ms Phelan said she knew she would be mentioned on the list but had to keep quiet until all 100 women were announced.

"I have been sworn to secrecy about this since September," she said.

"To be included alongside some of the women I have read about and what they have achieved is very humbling. I feel so privileged to be named as one of the #BBC100Women."

The list is comprised of women from more than 60 countries with ages ranging from as young as 15 up to 94.

Other inspirational figures on the list are 18-year-old Russian model Svetlana Alekseeva, who survived a fire that burned almost half her body and now works to help people with scars feel positive about their bodies, and world-renowned Peruvian author Isabel Allende.

Last weekend, Ms Phelan switched on the Christmas lights in Limerick.

Speaking at the event, she said she was delighted to attend the event admitting that she previously never thought she would make it this far.

Following a terminal diagnosis, Ms Phelan started on a new life-saving drug which significantly reduced her cervical cancer.

In June, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Limerick for her campaigning.

Irish Independent

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