Rugby star and charity ambassador Peter O’Mahony is challenging people across Cork to help to urgently raise funds to deliver a “game-changing” cancer technology at Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The CUH Charity, of whom Peter O’Mahony is an ambassador, is currently fundraising to secure a technology called an Ion Torrent Genexus Integrated Sequencer, which it says will help to significantly advance cancer testing, enabling patients to commence their highly targeted therapies and clinical trials earlier.
According to Dr. Richard Bambury, Clinical Director for Cancer Services, CUH has seen 200 new patients in radiotherapy and 50 patients in chemotherapy in the last six weeks alone.
He said growth in cancer rates will continue to rise, as the population lives longer, and as new cancers continue to emerge.
“It is imperative that we have the latest and best technology to enable us to deliver the best and most accurate course of treatments for our patients in Munster. We are certainly getting better at dealing with cancer but we need to have every possible effective tool at our disposal to bring our service in line with the goals of the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026, which aspires to ensure that all patients who need a particular molecular test will have that test performed at the appropriate time and on the appropriate tissue sample,” Dr Bambury said.
The campaign is being supported by the Fenton family in memory of their daughter and sister Karen who died of ovarian cancer.
They have raised €75,000 to date for the critical technology, and the charity has also raised another €100,000.
However, they need to raise another €275,000 to purchase the life-changing technology.
Peter O’Mahony is now urging communities, families, companies and individuals to now help them to raise the necessary funds to secure this equipment as soon as possible with "creative fundraising ideas".
This could include a sporting, art or household challenge to raise awareness and fundraising for the initiative.
“We are also rolling out a social media campaign with communities, families, companies and individuals rowing in behind us to raise the necessary funds to secure this equipment as soon as possible, and save many lives in the process, not to mention the improved quality of life solutions offered by this ultra-modern diagnostic technology," he said.
“Donate on idonate, do your challenge and tag as many friends as you would like to challenge using #PullTogetherCUHC and tagging ‘Cork University Hospital Charity’ on Facebook and @CUHCharity on Twitter, and let’s all pull together against cancer!” Peter O'Mahony added.
To donate log on to: www.idonate.ie/CUHCCancerCampaign