'Taking on Strictly for my Dad'

Sinead Kelleher

Following the sudden death of Edwina Duggan's Dad in 2016 while undergoing treatment for cancer of the Oesophagus, she vowed to do something to help overcome the grief and to help others who like her have lost loved ones.

Having attended previous Killarney Strictly Come Dancing shows, she decided to sign up and take part and now, days before the event, she is getting nervous about what lies ahead.

This weekend will see Edwina, from Lissivigeen; and her dancing partner, Jason Culloty, take to the stage for the fifth annual Strictly Come Dancing with 11 other couples to raise fund for the Killarney Branch of the Irish Cancer Society. They will take to the stage at the INEC this Friday, March 8, in front of a packed house, and each of the 24 dancers have very personal reasons for helping this worthy cause. 

For Edwina, this is her Dad, Martin, Gneeveguilla, who passed away in November 2016. A popular and well-known bar man, he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September and had begun chemo but, tragically, his heart gave out during treatment. Despite attempts by her Mom, Avril, to perform CPR to save his life Martin passed away.

This also prompted Edwina to join the Killarney Cardiac Response Unit to help save lives. This year she decided to go a step further and raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society to help others diagnosed with cancer.  "I think this is a way of helping others," she said. "If he were here, I know he would be very proud, and I will be thinking of that when I am on stage," said Edwina. Her mother, Avril, has also had cancer twice, so she knows first-hand how cancer can affect families, and everyone will be out in force to support her.   She is appealing to everyone  to support Strictly in Killarney this weekend but also to donate to the Irish Cancer Society during the year.