On Friday 24th March, the Irish Cancer Society celebrated its 30th year anniversary of Daffodil day. Originating its green stalks roots back to Canada in the 1950’s, it was the first country in the world to organise the global campaign of growing hope. As daffodils are one of the first Spring flowers to blossom, they have become an iconic symbol of hope, research and cancer awareness internationally.
According to the central statistics office of cancer research, every three minutes in Ireland someone gets a cancer diagnosis. Every hour someone dies from cancer. Incidence of cancer is growing, and by 2020, one in two of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime.
As we have learned through personal journeys or through the eyes of others, cancer has no respect for age. But it does give hope like the bright yellow bulb in spring time. According to the Irish Cancer Society, more than 150,000 people are living with and beyond cancer today in Ireland. But survival rates for individual cancers vary hugely. For example, while 90% prostate cancer patients will survive for five years or more, just 13% of lung cancer patients will be as lucky
We can also contribute to our precious life by helping to prevent cancer. It is now known that four out of ten cancers can be avoided. By not smoking, eating healthily, watching our weight and alcohol intake and exercising are significant steps in lowering our risk of cancer.
I documented a short film called Life is precious, it is about a teenager’s journey who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 16. He speaks about the challenges he faced; his mother gracefully evokes those harrowing moments dealing with his diagnosis while been strong for him, and her family. He talks about how life is precious, how he values it, and most important is to keep positive, remain strong even in the darkest days.