Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Give us a song' in aid of cancer research

Caroline foundation launches campaign with a sing-song

Martha Lackey, Ailbhe Whittle, Georgia Dixon and Emma Nesbitt with Aine Lawlor at the launch of ‘Give Us a Song’
Martha Lackey, Ailbhe Whittle, Georgia Dixon and Emma Nesbitt with Aine Lawlor at the launch of ‘Give Us a Song’

Mary Fogarty

RTÉ star Aine Lawlor and leading cancer specialist Prof John Crown were among those who launched a unique fundraising campaign for cancer research in Dublin last Friday morning.

Young musicians from Bray and Greystones also played at the occasion.

Passengers coming and going through Pearse Street Dart Station were treated to a musical extravaganza as performers from different traditions gathered around Peter Eades on piano and sang their hearts out in an appeal to choirs, groups and friends all over Ireland to put on singing performances over the weekend of February 4 to mark UN designated World Cancer Day.

The money raised will go to the Caroline Foundation for Cancer Research, which was set up in memory of Greystones woman Caroline Dwyer-Hickey.

'We'd love people in villages, towns and cities all over the country to get out and sing over the first weekend of February for this important cause,' said Aine Lawlor, who fronts the 'Give Us A Song!' campaign.

'As someone whose life has been significantly changed by medical science, I am a firm believer in the potential of research to decode and ultimately defeat cancer.'

The Caroline Foundation was established in 2013 after Greystones native and former primary school teacher Caroline Dwyer-Hickey (35) died following a nine year battle with cancer.

The Caroline Foundation is 100 per cent volunteer driven and funds the work of a number of researchers on the Cancer Clinical Research Trust (CCRT) team.

According to Prof Crown from the CCRT, the foundation is already making an impact in the ongoing battle against cancer.

'In 2017, research supported and facilitated by the Caroline Foundation yielded new insights into potential treatments for the most aggressive types of breast cancer, HER2+ and triple negative,' said Prof Crown.

'As a result, we are starting new clinical trials for patients with both of these disease types in 2018. We are also applying these insights into potential treatment programmes in other cancer types. The new generation of trials will be called after Caroline, and we anticipate that we will be entering patients onto the Caroline 1 Trial in the first quarter of 2018.'

World Cancer Day falls on February 4 each year which, poignantly, was Caroline's birthday. 'She would have celebrated her 40th birthday this year,' said her father, Dermod Dwyer.

'It's a very special day in our calendar and we hope it will be particularly special this year with an even more successful fundraising event.'

Give Us A Song! takes place from Friday, February 2, to Sunday, February 4, and will feature performers busking on the street and singing in their work, school, church or pub. There will be concerts in local halls and GAA clubs and lots of sing-songs at home. Over 80 events were held in 2017.

To register an event, email

Bray People