Doctors to climb Everest in Cork to raise funds for cancer technology

Doctors to climb Everest in Cork to raise funds for cancer technology
Pulling together against Cancer.Coxn Martin Kelly and Able Seaman, Dylan Cullinane, Irish Naval Service, Rugby star, Peter O'Mahony, Dr. Richard Bambury, Clinical Director for Cancer Services, pull together on board the L.E. Eithne in Cork harbour, to kickstart urgent funding for game-changing cancer technology at Cork University Hospital. To donate to this urgent fundraising campaign, see or follow the #PullTogetherCUHC challenge on Facebook ‘Cork University Hospital Charity’ and Twitter @CUHCharityPicture: Jim Coughlan.

A group of doctors from Cork University Hospital are set to climb the height of Mount Everest on St Patrick’s Hill in Cork.

The CUH Charity, of whom Peter O’Mahony is an ambassador, is currently fundraising for a cancer sequencing machine, the technology that identifies the mutations that cause the cancer.

The information provided by the machine will enable more personalised medicines, and will allow a better understanding of each individual cancer.

Dr Dearbhaile Collins, a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Department of Medical Oncology in CUH, is one of those behind the fundraiser, and is also taking part in the climb.

She told The Echo that this fundraiser has been in the pipeline for some time.

“CUH Charity and their ambassador Peter O'Mahony have initiated the #pulltogetherCUHC campaign and this fundraiser is part of that,” Dr Collins said.

St. Patrick's Hill, Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.
St. Patrick's Hill, Cork.Picture Denis Minihane.

“We would love everyone involved but with Covid-19 restrictions and the need for social distancing, we will not be able to bring a crowd. So, we are ascending Patrick's Hill in teams of four to bring down 221 cancer ribbons, symbolic of our ongoing efforts to improve cancer care and most importantly to positively impact patient survival and quality of life. 221 trips on Patrick's Hill is equivalent to 8840metres, the height of Mount Everest!” she said.

The campaign is being supported by the Fenton family in memory of their daughter and sister Karen who died of ovarian cancer.

“I met with them two years ago and we discussed the need for this machine, so it has been a long time coming and the Fentons have remarkably raised over €75,000 themselves,” Dr Collins said.

However, another €275,000 is needed to purchase the life-changing technology.

Climb Everest for Cancer
Climb Everest for Cancer

The climb itself will take place on Saturday, and alongside Dr Collins, Professor Seamus O'Reilly, Dr Derek Power, Dr Richard Bambury, Professor Roisin Connolly and the specialist doctors in training will climb.

Asked if they’re training for the experience, Dr Collins said they were “Using baseline fitness, and our medical expertise for those whose baseline fitness fails them!” The climb begins on Saturday morning at 9am with the first group of four. A new group will ascend every 60-90 minutes until all 221 climbs are done.

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