Monday, 23 September 2013

From the heart- the big C

I don't usually watch the Late Late Show, it's no secret. I don't particularly like Ryan Tubridy's 'know-it-all' style of interviewing, and I think the guests that he has on the show are, for the most part, quite unremarkable- failed Irish politicians, has been popstars looking to resurrect their careers and Z list actors. 

However, the Late Late Show did host one remarkable woman a week and a half ago, and I know that you will know that I am talking about Majella O'Donnell. If you are not from Ireland, you might not be familiar with Majella's story. Majella is the wife of one of Ireland's most popular singing stars amongst the golden oldies (I'm not a fan but I won't judge if you are, my Nana is a mad Daniel O'Donnell fan!), and recently she was diagnosed with breast cancer, for which she will be undergoing chemotherapy over the coming weeks. The reason I think she is so remarkable is not only that she spoke frankly and passionately about her diagnosis and prognosis, but also that she had her locks shorn live on Irish television to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society the day after she started chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer. She asked people to text in a special number which was circulated to donate €4, or if that was too much, to call the Irish Cancer Society helpline and donate whatever you could. Her plea on the Late Late Show that night raised in excess of €550,000 which is absolutely staggering. 

(pic courtesy of

I can't even begin to imagine how traumatic it must be to lose your crowning glory because of a disease and very aggressive medical treatment to annihilate same, but to do this intensely emotional and personal thing live on television to raise funds for the worthiest of causes, I actually cannot think of a more brave or courageous thing to do. Majella herself is not really in the public eye in a role other than wife of Daniel, so she could have just undergone her treatment in private and not have to deal with the speculation and intrusion that is associated with the media. I was barely even brave enough to watch, but I did feel totally and utterly awestruck and inspired by her composure and her dignity, and all because she wanted to raise money for a good cause. 

The work of the Irish Cancer Society is very close to my heart- my aunt and grandmother lost very short battles with cancer and another aunt of mine defeated cancer and is still thankfully flying fit to this day. In the space of about six months, my mother's best friend and my father's best friend lost their battles with cancer. Every few weeks, I hear of someone I know who has lost their battle to the disease, and I constantly live in fear of the big C touching someone else I know. It is absolutely devastating, and I often wonder why, even with all the science and research, that a cure hasn't been found yet. 

I have witnessed first hand the amazing work that the Irish Cancer Society do, in terms of research, guidance and support. Every cent that is donated to the Irish Cancer Society is a cent well deserved, and will be a cent well spent. I know that every charity is worthy, but in my mind and my heart, the Irish Cancer Society is truly one of the best. 

Now I don't usually like to talk about serious things like this in this blog because I try to keep it a happy and a light place where you can tune into chatter about beauty and magic and the like. But I have been feeling so strongly about this over the last few days that I am using this SBBC opportunity to talk out about this. I am so inspired and enlightened by Majella O'Donnell, a woman I knew very little about this time two weeks ago, and I have great admiration and respect for not only her, but everybody who battles the big C and does so with dignity and courage of a degree that I cannot even begin to comprehend. 

When I was in university, I was the first person ever to establish an affiliation between the Law Society that I was involved in at the time and the Irish Cancer Society, and I coordinated many a Daffodil Day over the years. As I am sure most of you are aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am currently in the throes of organising a Beauty Bloggers event on 6th October to coincide with the Professional Beauty Show in Dublin, and one of the big initiatives that I am driving is a charity raffle for the Irish Cancer Society to raise some more much needed funds. I have contacted so many companies asking for support, and the response to date has been amazing, so heartwarming to think that so many people are willing to help out and donate to the cause. Some ***AMAZING*** prizes have been offered to us so far (it's crazy!!), and I am hoping that all the lovely ladies that I have come to know and love will turn out in force for the day and enjoy some beauty banter and buy lots of raffle tickets with the proceeds going directly to the Irish Cancer Society.  

So please remember to think pink this October, and if the opportunity arises and there is something you can do to raise a few euro for this great cause, please embrace it. If you are already coming to the meetup, please bring a few euro to support a great cause (and you have an added bonus of potentially winning an amazing beauty related prize!). 

So again, I'm sorry if this post seemed a little full on in comparison to what I usually chat about, but I feel like this is a live issue, and breast cancer is something that could affect any of us at any time, so I would like to call on all ladies to unite and donate whatever you can to the cause. Again, I commend Majella for her bravery and I wish her a speedy recovery. I am asking you all to spread the word about the charity raffle of 6th October- details of the event are in a previous post- and I welcome any comments or questions you might have in relation to this post either in the comments below or if you would prefer to keep them private, you can email me at

Thanks for reading xx



  1. Aisling that's a really lovely post. I'd heard of lots of people having cancer but never really 'got' it until it took my nanny. I won't be around for the charity raffle but if there's any way to support it, please let me know x

  2. that's such a lovely post..actually had tears in my eyes! didn't see the show but heard my mum talking about it.x well done on organising the event x

  3. I don't particularly like Ryan Tubridy's style of interview either - I find him overly interruptive.!!

    Cancer research and support is the one charity I always support when I can. At this stage I think most people know someone who has been effected by cancer so I'm sure a lot of people can relate to this post and admiration of Majella xo


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