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Partner of Killarney man battling cancer thankful for support

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There was an air of sadness around Killarney last week when news broke that one of our own, Steven Brosnan, was battling a cancer diagnosis.

Steven is the son of retired council worker Christy Brosnan and is from a well-known Killarney family.

Now based in Wexford, 36-year-old Steven was diagnosed with cancer back in December 2023, but the news only reached Killarney last week.

“We are a private family so we kept it quiet for as long we could but when the cancer had spread to Steven’s back and he had to undergo chemo treatment. The local GAA club here St. Joseph's heard the news and wanted to do something to show their support,” his partner Sarah told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

He is expected to undergo his last bout of chemotherapy soon and what is next is still unclear for the family.

“He may have to get additional treatment depending on how his body has reacted to the chemotherapy. We are just taking it one day at a time,” added Sarah.

“I just want to say that we are so grateful to all of our friends in Killarney who have been in touch. We have been getting visitors and calls all week and we are so lucky to have amazing friends who are there to support us”

St Joseph’s GAA Club in Wexford town has set up a Go Fund Me page.

“Steven is a wonderful person and he and his young family are deeply embedded in St. Joseph’s and obviously this news has hit us all hard. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steven and his family at this difficult time. As a club we value our members and players and we will always do our best to support them in any way we can,” said a club statement.

“Steven and Sarah are raising two young girls, Ali (9) and Ruby (5). Due to Stevens illness he has to step away from work indefinitely while Sarah, who runs her own hair salon, is on reduced hours while trying to keep the show on the road. The club hopes to raise as much  funds as possible which will go towards helping Stephen and his family get through this difficult period.”

Donations can be made via St. Joseph’s GAA via it’s GoFundMe link:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-out-stephen-his-family

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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