A number of Offaly volunteers were on hand this week to help launch the Irish Cancer Society's 25th Daffodil Day, which will be held on Friday, March 23.
At the launch of the 25th Daffodil Day, the Irish Cancer Society revealed how demand for its free patient care services increased significantly during 2011. The Society and Dell, lead partner for Daffodil Day, this week called on the Offaly public to help raise the ambitious fundraising target of €3.5m to celebrate Daffodil Day's 25th birthday.
Funds raised on Daffodil Day by thousands of volunteers across Ireland go directly to providing free cancer information and nursing services. This includes the Society's free home based night nursing service to seriously ill cancer patients. Irish Cancer Society night nurses provided over 8,000 nights of care to 2,014 patients in their own home across Ireland in 2011. This was an increase of nearly 13% since 2010.
Daffodil Day also helps fund the Irish Cancer Society's flagship Cancer Information Service, including the National Cancer Helpline (Freefone 1800 200 700). In 2011 cancer specialist nurses on the Helpline responded to 22,120 enquiries, an increase of over 900 enquiries from 2010. Over 112 calls were from people living in Offaly.
Speaking at the launch, John McCormack, CEO, Irish Cancer Society said: "This year marks the 25th birthday of Daffodil Day, and since it began in 1988, we have seen a massive increase in the demand for our services due to the ever increasing incidence of cancer. The latest figures from the NCRI show that there were 405 cases of cancer diagnosed in Offaly last year. Now, more than ever, the services we provide are crucial. The money we raise on Daffodil Day goes directly to support people with cancer and their families at every stage of the cancer journey," he said.
Mr McCormack continued: "This year we are asking communities across Offaly to join us in celebrating Daffodil Day reaching its 25th birthday and to help us reach our target of €3.5m. We need people to show solidarity and support for people and families across the country affected by cancer so that we can continue to meet their needs in 2012."