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Surviving past 47 was big turning point, says RTE's Aine Lawlor


Aine Lawlor

Aine Lawlor

Aine Lawlor

RTE's Aine Lawlor has spoken of her battle with breast cancer and said getting past 47 was a huge turning point in her life.

Lawlor's mother died of breast cancer when she was 47, and the broadcaster said it was "my hang-up for a long time".

Now aged 50, she said "children get cancer, and you realise there is no rhyme or reason to it".

Speaking to the RTE Guide, she said she has learned to control her fear of whatever it is the future might have in store for her.

"I don't want to be looking back and thinking, 'I should have done this or should have enjoyed that more'," she said.

"Of course, I feel desperately sad that we lost my mum so young, but cells can go wrong in your body at any stage in your life."

The current affairs broadcaster revealed her passion for gardening has helped her cope with both her sadness and her treatment.

"The garden became my consolation in hard times and is a place of pleasure the rest of time," she said.

Lawlor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2011, said one of her early worries was that she might never again see her apple trees in all their blooming glory.


After intensive treatment of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Lawlor was fighting fit and returned to work the following summer.

Now she undergoes regular check-ups and preventative measures, including a recent colonoscopy to screen for bowel cancer.

Looking to the future cancer-free, she said it is important to realise that life is precious.

"Most times we take life for granted," she said. "We don't notice the tadpoles or what kind of day it is. When I was sick I couldn't garden. It was such a feeling of happiness to going back to having the earth under my fingernails."

Born and raised in Coolock, she described her love of the outdoors as the direct influence of her grandmother, Anne O'Kelley.