Gorey woman is leading the way for NETS campaign
A Gorey woman living with Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETS), a group of rare slow growing cancers, has become a campaign ambassador for 'Expand Your NETwork' to help raise awareness about the condition.
Esther Redmond was diagnosed with NETS in her mid-sixties and takes on her illness with great dignity and strength in her everyday life.
'The word cancer, it can instil a fear in you when you are first diagnosed and can be frightening to have such a rare form like NET,' said Esther.
NET cancer is formed in the neuroendocrine system, which is made up of cells found in the respiratory and digestive tracts as well as the pancreas, thyroid, pituitary and the ovaries and male genitalia. There are a number of different types of NETS, all with varying symptoms, the onset of which can take an average five to seven years.
Before diagnosed, Esther had been feeling very unwell for a considerable length of time, which, she says, is normal for people living with NETs.
'NETs are slow growing but the good news is it can be treated and contained,' said Esther. 'I am lucky to have received the very best care from my excellent GP in Gorey who really persevered during my initial symptoms to ensure I got my diagnosis of this very rare disease.'
St Vincent's Hospital in county Dublin regularly look after Esther during her scans and oversee most of her treatment.
Before being diagnosed with NETs, Esther had never heard of NET even with a background working as a Health Visitor and a Public Health Nurse before retiring.
'I have been involved in the NET Patient Network Group for many years,' said Esther. 'I would encourage those affected by NETs to get in touch and attend the many events throughout the year.'
NET Patient Network and Novartis launched the 'Expand Your NETwork' campaign last week to raise awareness of NETs.
The Expand Your NETwork campaign will focus on real stories, told by people living with NETs, and was launched in advance of the global NET Cancer Day, which was celebrated on November 10.