Ennis woman uses Facebook to rally support in overcoming illness

Ennis woman uses Facebook to rally support in overcoming illness


Cathy's Cheerleaders Committee Top Catherine Ryan Middle Samantha McCarthy, Mary Howard, Tracey Guilfoyle Bottom Row - Catriona Hayes, Arlene Whelan, Joanna Woods and Judy Brigdale

Photo: Cathy’s Cheerleaders Committee (top to bottom) Catherine Ryan (centre) Samantha McCarthy, Mary Howard, Tracey Guilfoyle (Bottom Row) – Catriona Hayes, Arlene Whelan, Joanna Woods and Judy Brigdale.

One Ennis woman availed of Facebook to help establish a community of support in overcoming illness.

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland, after skin cancer. Every year about 2,600 women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer – that works out at 1 in every 10 women in Ireland will get Breast Cancer at some stage in their lives.

You can get Breast Cancer at any age but it is most common in ladies over the age of 50 it is important to note that yes men get Breast Cancer too.

Last June Ennis woman Catherine Ryan got the terrifying news that she had Breast Cancer. Catherine, is 49, leads a healthy lifestyle, does not smoke and is as fit as a flea but she is one of the lucky ones because her tumour was discovered early and it is treatable with surgery, radiotherapy and medication.

Catherine works full time with the Clare Sports Partnership as well as a being a Leader with WeightWatchers, running three evening classes weekly so she has a very wide circle of friends.

On top of this she has six sisters and one brother so she made the decision to post on Facebook following each appointment rather than text everyone individually and after receiving many private messages from people saying how she was helping them she started being more frank about her story.

As a direct response to this honest and candid sharing of her journey, a group of over 150 will participate in this year’s Cook Limerick Ladies Mini Marathon on October 30th.

Catherine helped to inspire these ladies to get involved. From following her story they wanted to help, they wanted to make a difference and effect change. These ladies and men are participating to not only show solidarity with Catherine, but to raise some much needed funds for Breast Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Ireland.

Cathy’s cheerleaders are looking for more companions to join them whether its running, jogging or walking. To do so contact Catriona Hayes at 0858380044 or find Cathy’s Cheerleaders Back Breast Cancer research on Facebook. Everyone is welcome.