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Wednesday, 27th January 2021

Cervical cancer campaigner Eileen tells her poignant story

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Eileen Rushe at home with her son Seamus and parents Jim and Mary.

Brave Eileen continues her campaign to encourage women to have regular smear tests

We’ve featured Eileen Rushe several times before on Drogheda Life. The first time was shortly after her partner John Byrne died in 2017 following an epileptic seizure at the age of 32 and she was organising a fundraiser for Epilepsy Ireland in his memory.

The next time the Termonfeckin woman crossed our horizon was in January 2019 when she got in touch from her ward in St. Luke’s Hospital where she was being treated for cervical cancer which had been diagnosed the previous month.

Eileen is a fighter though, and even before she left St. Luke’s she had begun writing a blog called “Cervical Cancer is a Bitch” in which she gives a candid account of her battle with the disease.

Eileen is also a campaigner and all along she has encouraged women to get their smear tests done regularly. She is also strongly in favour of giving children the HPV vaccine.

“It is the screening program that did ultimately result in me being diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer back in December 2018” she says in her blog, “I cannot urge women enough to partake in the national screening program.”

In an earlier post she says her aim is to help make everyone aware of the effects that cancer is having on her and her family with the hope that they will ensure their loved ones are protected as much as possible from Cervical Cancer.

One of the most poignant passages in her blog deals with her relationship with her son Seamus:

“The most difficult thing about this whole terminal cancer thing is Séamus. In July 2017 I sat on the sofa and told him his dad had passed away, in January 2019 I sat on the sofa and told him I had cancer, January 2020 I got a new sofa 🙂 unfortunately September 2020 I told him I had cancer and it can’t be cured.”

“I realise it is hard to maintain trust in a system that seems to fail at every hurdle but please continue to get tested and take part in the cervical screening check programme and or go for a private screening” she says in another latest chapter.

“This week is Cervical Cancer Awareness week so I thought I would tell my story again and how I ended up sitting in my sitting room writing about how I at 35 have terminal Cervical Cancer” Eileen says in her latest post.

You can read Eileen's full story at https://cervicalcancerisabitch.com/

For more information about Cervical cancer see https://www.cancer.ie

To get in touch with the cervical check program call 1800 45 45 55 or visit https://www2.hse.ie/cervical-screening   

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