Irish Rugby players Rory O’Loughlin and Andrew Porter took part in a “Strides for Life” exercise session with local breast cancer survivors Carol McKeon, Sharzie Delaney and Clodagh Quigley, from Louth.
Ireland and Leinster Rugby players Andrew Porter and Rory O’Loughlin joined three local breast cancer survivors today for a ‘Strides for Life’ exercise session.
Andrew and Rory joined forces with Sharzie Delaney and Carol McKeon, both from Drogheda, and Clodagh Quigley from Castlebellingham as part of the Irish Cancer Society’s Cups Against Breast Cancer campaign to highlight the importance of being physically active following cancer treatment.
Clodagh was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 after finding a lump. Carol experienced persistent pain in her breast which turned out to be breast cancer in 2012, while Sharzie discovered a cancerous lump in 2016.
All three engage in regular physical activity and say it has greatly improved their fitness and sense of wellbeing as they recover from cancer.
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Over 3,100 women in Ireland each year receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Both Andrew and Rory’s families have been directly affected by breast cancer. Andrew’s mum Wendy sadly passed away from breast cancer when he was just 12 years old, while Rory’s mum Helen was treated for the disease in 2005.
The pair took time out from their regular training for an exercise session with the ladies who attend the Gary Kelly Centre which runs the Irish Cancer Society’s walking programme for cancer survivors called Strides for Life.
This 15 week programme, tailored to each individual to help build up their physical activity levels to reduce the risk of cancer coming back, is run through the Society’s affiliated Cancer Support Centres across the country.
Andrew said, “One way we can all reduce our risk of cancer, and help prevent it from coming back is to engage in some form of regular exercise. When mum was alive she always encouraged me to get involved in sport and physical activity so it’s been part of my life since I was a child.
“I know the powerful benefits of exercise for both the body and mind so it’s fantastic to see a programme which is helping those who have been through difficult treatment to feel better mentally and physically.
Rory added, “We are delighted to support women, and the small number of men who are fighting breast cancer in Ireland. My mum went through treatment and it’s tough, but thankfully she is doing well.
“Empowering people to get back into fitness after cancer is a great initiative and just one of the ways the Irish Cancer Society is supporting cancer survivors. Members of the public can help ensure those affected by breast cancer have the support they need by holding a Cups Against Breast Cancer coffee morning this October.”
Strides for Life is one of a number of free supports made available by the Irish Cancer Society for breast cancer survivors. Funds raised through campaigns like Cups Against Breast Cancer help support these programmes.
This October members of the public can support people affected by breast cancer by hosting a Cups Against Breast Cancer coffee morning in their workplace or community. Get involved now at www.cancer.ie/cupsagainstcancer