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Caring cancer mum's support for patients

MUM-of-three Rionach Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer when she had just turned 40.

Her youngest child was only 18 months old when she got the terrible news.

Thankfully, she underwent successful treatment at St James's Hospital in Dublin, and received word just this week that she will only have to go for annual check-ups from now on.

Rionach (45) who lives in Johnstown, Co Kildare, had a lumpectomy just before Christmas in 2004, and she had chemotherapy from January to April 2005, followed by radiotherapy.

"My hair fell out in February that year. But my oncologist had explained that it meant that the chemotherapy was working."


She was also treated with the drug Herceptin and is nearing the end of a five-year course of Tamoxifen.

Rionach, mum to Oscar (11), Felix (10) and Ruth (6), is now a volunteer with the Irish Cancer Society's Reach To Recovery programme, after completing its training course.

She wanted to get involved to give something back as when she was in hospital, she herself was visited by a Reach To Recovery volunteer.

She said that the volunteers could offer support and advice to those who are newly diagnosed -- and being around people who had finished their treatment and were moving forward gave them a boost.