CUH Charity’s Ambassador, Peter O’Mahony, has today, on World Ovarian Cancer Day, launched an urgent fundraising campaign to secure ground-breaking technology which will significantly advance cancer testing, enabling patients to commence their highly targeted therapies and clinical trials earlier. The technology will have immense potential to improve cancer patient quality of life and survival.

“The campaign is supported by the Fenton family in memory of their beautiful daughter and sister Karen who died of ovarian cancer, and they have raised €75,000 to date for the critical technology”, said O’Mahony, the Ireland and Munster rugby player, who is fronting this fundraising initiative.

“Cancer has not gone away, so we are forging ahead with fundraising. Along with the €75,000 from the Fenton family, the charity have existing funds of €100,000 but we still need to raise the remaining €275,000 needed to purchase this life-changing technology for cancer patients through our idonate page”, he added. “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.”

According to Clinical Director for Cancer Services, Dr. Richard Bambury, growth in cancer rates will continue to rise, as the population lives longer, and as new cancers continue to emerge.

“CUH has seen 200 new patients in radiotherapy and 50 patients in chemotherapy in the last six weeks alone, demonstrating the seriousness of the situation and the necessity to provide a quick turnaround and halt progression of cancers.  This is where this vital piece of equipment, the Ion Torrent Genexus Integrated Sequencer technology will enable consultants to accurately test multiple cancer genes in a single specimen (tissue or blood test). This test negates the need to rely on single-gene tests, which yield more limited information. Through the use of the new technology, clinicians can get same day results (tests are currently taking approximately two weeks to come back from referral labs in Dublin or the UK), quickly select the treatments most likely to benefit individual patients, uncover novel treatment options and identify clinical trial possibilities for those with cancer and it will be less likely that older forms of chemotherapy will be needed.  Saving lives is at the core of what we do, and the added advantage of valuable research gleaned through this world-class sequencer, working with University College Cork, will undoubtedly be hugely significant for future generations.” Dr. Bambury said.

“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”.

Peter O’Mahony is asking people to come up with creative fundraising ideas for their social media fundraising campaign, have a bit of fun with it, and when they donate, they set themselves a challenge enabling friends, families, communities and companies to pull together to improve cancer services for future generations. It could be a sporting, art or household challenge (anything at all – run around your garden, a Zoom party, a 5k walk, shave your head, a virtual tractor run!) to raise awareness and fundraising for this worthy initiative.

“Donate on idonate, do your challenge and tag as many friends as you would like to challenge using #PullTogetherCUHC and tagging @CorkUniversityHospitalCharity on Facebook, @CUHCharity on Twitter and @cuh.charity on Instagram, and let’s all pull together against cancer!” O’Mahony concludes.

To donate to this urgent fundraising campaign, follow the idonate link at: www.idonate.ie/CUHCCancerCampaign

Alternatively, if you have a fundraising idea or wish to make a private donation, call us on 021 4234529 or email info@cuhcharity.ie.