Life Health & Wellbeing

Thursday 19 September 2019

'I feel it everyday' - Mairead Ronan on losing her mum to cancer

Repro Free: 30/08/2019 Radio and TV presenter Mairead Ronan is pictured launching the Irish Cancer Society’s Cups Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. Mairead, who lost her mum to breast cancer, is urging people to host a coffee morning on October 11th to support those affected by the disease. See www.cancer.ie Photo by Andres Poveda
Repro Free: 30/08/2019 Radio and TV presenter Mairead Ronan is pictured launching the Irish Cancer Society’s Cups Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. Mairead, who lost her mum to breast cancer, is urging people to host a coffee morning on October 11th to support those affected by the disease. See www.cancer.ie Photo by Andres Poveda
Repro Free: 30/08/2019 Radio and TV presenter Mairead Ronan is pictured launching the Irish Cancer Society’s Cups Against Breast Cancer fundraiser. Mairead, who lost her mum to breast cancer, is urging people to host a coffee morning on October 11th to support those affected by the disease. See www.cancer.ie Photo by Andres Poveda

Aoife Walsh

Mairead Ronan has said she is "grateful" for her health after losing her mother to breast cancer at a young age and seeing a close friend going through a similar experience.

The Today FM star said she decided to take part in a new campaign with the Irish Cancer Society for "many reasons," adding, "number one I’m female, and my mum passed away with breast cancer when I was just turning 21."

"It’s a long time ago now, but it’s something I still feel pretty much everyday," she told Independent.ie. "Also, a friend of mine who shall remain nameless because she’s a very private person, was diagnosed with breast cancer just a year ago.

"Thankfully, she is okay now, but she’s a young mum of three children and that really hit home with me because I’m the exact same age as her, and in the same position as her, I’m a mum-of-three so it was pretty scary last year, but she’s great now.

“I think as you get a little older and you settle a bit you appreciate things like your health a lot more and looking after yourself a lot more and I do both of those. I’m so grateful that I’m alive and well and I haven’t gone through anything that my pal has gone through. I suppose I am, I’m appreciative of my health," she said.

The broadcaster revealed she is "not reinventing the wheel" for her new two-hour weekday lunchtime slot airing in September, where she will be succeeding previous host Muireann O'Connell.

Mairead told Independent.ie, “It’s the lunchtime show, I’m not reinventing the wheel. It’s getting people from the start of their lunch to the end of their lunch it’s keeping them informed on what’s happened during the day and it’s playing great music and it’s probably going to be 80pc entertainment and when it needs to be serious it will be.

“Today FM has been a place that I’ve grown up in so I’m not going into anything I don’t know," she added.

After taking home the Dancing With The Stars glitterball trophy in March, she is about to take to the dance floor once again at Killarney's INEC for three special live shows this November.

Mairead and her dance partner, John Nolan will be joined by Jake Carter paired with now girlfriend Karen Byrne, Thalia Heffernan with partner Ryan McShane, while Cliona Hagan reunites with pro-dancer Robert Rowinsk, and Johnny Ward who will team up with his partner from this year’s season of the show, Emily Barker. 

The dance champ said she is "a bit scared" about getting back into her costumes. She said, “I’m a bit scared about the costumes that I’m going to have to get back into because since Dancing With The Stars ended I have gained weight again, which happens from not moving for eight hours a day.

"But I have a little bit of time, I’m back dancing with John in a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to doing that. Spanx is always there to help though if I can’t zip one of them up ,” she joked.

Despite a jam packed schedule that includes a new radio show, the star mother-of-three said she is someone who "loves being busy".

“I look at that question and think how did I do Dancing With The Stars for four months when I had a tiny baby, I was breastfeeding, I was renovating a house, I had a preteen, I had a toddler, and I had all the other things that are still going on in my life and I survived and I also really enjoyed it.

"I’m the kind of person who loves being busy, so I’m going to throw myself into the new show and see what happens," she said.

Speaking at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society's 'Cups Against Breast Cancer' fundraiser, Ronan said:, “the Irish Cancer Society is trying to encourage people to host a coffee morning on October 11 to raise vital funds for their services. They have so many free services available  to people who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

"They get over 3,000 calls a year from people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their family members as well, and they rely heavily on donations so this is a really easy way for people to help out the cancer society."

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