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Joe's €1k gift to cancer mum who needs €85k drug

POPULAR broadcaster Joe Duffy has helped a terminally ill cancer patient in her desperate bid to avail of life-saving treatment.

Mum-of-three Cathy Durkin fears she will die unless she finds €85,000 to purchase a 'wonder' drug.

Health bosses have refused to provide the expensive treatment, known as Ipilimumab, as she is a public patient.

Ms Durkin's plight has touched the hearts of many, with top RTE host Joe Duffy getting behind her charge.

The RTE host gave the mum-of-three a gift of €1,000, which he won in a raffle, in a bid to help the terminally ill woman.

Mr Duffy said: "We have a credit union here in RTE, like so many companies -- a great credit union that I have been in now for 22 years. They have a monthly draw and at last I have won something.

"I just got a text to say I have won €1,000 in the RTE credit union draw and it is going immediately into the Cathy Durkin appeal. I know it is only a small gesture but maybe that will get the fund going."

The Liveline host described Cathy's illness as "catastrophic", adding that her family and friends will do anything to raise the money. "Cathy has been given a year and it is catastrophic. That is why her friend Karen and her sister are trying to get this across to the Government but they are not going to sit around," he told listeners.


"They are organising as we speak and they will beg, steal or borrow to get this money. You can go to your hospital and through your oncologist say I have got the money to buy this drug -- they can actually do it."

One of Miss Durkin's doctors Professor John Crown said that by rejecting the drug health bosses have handed cancer sufferers a death sentence.

The Independent senator argued that the life-extending medicine has worked wonders in the past with a number of examples of terminally ill patients going into remission.

The medicine is being refused to public patients on the basis of cost.

Speaking on Liveline, Miss Durkin pleaded with the Health Minister James Reilly to reverse the decision.

"I've been given a year, you know if I don't get it [the medicine].

"That's the tunnel that I'm in at the moment," she said while trying to fight back tears.