MORE THAN 600 people, decked out in pink raised, over €50,000 for breast cancer research at the fourth annual Pink Ribbon Walk.
The communities of Killaloe and Ballina were covered in pink flags and balloons, as bra bunting provided a splash of colour to the picturesque bridge, while residents on the route through the Clare hills were out in force handing sweets and drinks to all the participants.
Since the inaugural Pink Ribbon Walk in Kells, County Meath in 2009, the event has grown, with Killaloe joining in 2010 and Kinsale in 2012. In excess of €50,000 was raised on the day with more sponsorship expected to come in over the next few weeks.
Chairperson of the Killaloe Pink Ribbon Walk, Nicola Wood said the tremendous show of strength and solidarity was a very humbling experience.
“It was an inspiring day, with breast cancer survivors walking alongside breast cancer sufferers, young walking with old, sons and daughters walking with mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles walking with nieces and nephews, everyone walking with friends.
“All of us joined together to raise awareness, offer support and raise funds to hopefully help find a cure for breast cancer. Women have a one in 10 chance of developing breast cancer – the most common cancer in the country. By taking part in a Pink Ribbon Walk, people have helped to raise funds for Action Breast Cancer, a programme of the Irish Cancer Society that supports vital services.”
Volunteers included members of An Garda Síochána, Killaloe Coastguard, Order of Malta and Killaloe Fire Brigade.
Nicola paid tribute to “all the local businesses and residents who have supported us year on year and who helped turn the route and our two towns of Killaloe and Ballina pink for the day”.
Funds raised also go towards funding the Physical Activity Programme for breast cancer survivors.
Cancer services include the National Cancer Freefone Helpline (1800 200 700) staffed by specialist nurses. In 2011, it supported 22,120 callers to the helpline and 741 of these calls came from the Mid-West Region of Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
In 2011, the Irish Cancer Society invested €3.1 million in cancer research projects across the country, with about €900,000 going to breast cancer research projects. Other vital services include providing community and workplace programmes on breast cancer awareness and early detection; night nursing for critically ill patients in total, 8,110 nights of care was provided to 2,014 families in 2011, 996 nights of which were provided to the Mid-West Region. Also, more than 688,266 cancer information booklets were given to people concerned about cancer across the country in 2011, with 58,553 distributed in the Mid-West Region.
For more information, visit www.pinkribbonwalk.ie or Facebook.com/pinkribbonwalk.