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HomeFarming News‘I caught my breast cancer early, and will make a full recovery’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘I caught my breast cancer early, and will make a full recovery’

In April 2020, in the height of Ireland’s first national lockdown, Breed Hassett was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The agricultural science teacher at Banagher College, Banagher, Co Offaly began her treatment journey last summer and by September, when schools returned, had started her chemotherapy.

Speaking to That’s Farming, she said: “As Covid had disrupted the normal Transition Year program, the TY coordinating team were looking for ways to keep students actively engaged.”

“One of my colleagues approached me and asked me would I mind if the TY year fundraised for breast cancer. I agreed and a plan was formulated.”

“#milesformissH was the name of the plan. The TY students agreed to walk the total length of my journey from Kinnitty, where I live to St. James Hospital, where I was receiving 12 rounds of chemotherapy. Myself and my colleague, Teresa, started the walk with the Virtual Pink Run in October.”

“I spoke to the TY year, to thank for undertaking this initiative. I explained how my mother had died at the age of 41 from cancer but with advancements in medicine and detection, more and more people were beating cancer.”

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€14,500 for breast cancer research

Within a matter of weeks, all her colleagues, students both, past and present, and the wider community got involved. Everyone clocked their miles and the public continued to make donations.

The fundraiser drew participants not just in Banagher and Kinnitty, but as far as Spain, Australia, Canada, and the Lebanon.

By the time the fundraiser concluded before Christmas, €14,500 had been raised for breast cancer research.

“The support the fundraiser received and the support I received at a personal level from the school community and the wider community was incredible. That support made my cancer journey feel so much shorter.”

‘I will make a full recovery’

Fast forward 5 months, to April 2021 and Breed is currently completing the final stages of her cancer treatment.

“A friend and cattle dealer in conversation last November had promised to sponsor a calf in the spring for the fundraiser. I had forgotten the conversation until my husband rang one afternoon to say Martin was coming out with the calf.” she added.

“So, I got on the phone immediately with the TY coordinating team and a new fundraiser was set in motion. I am very lucky to have caught my breast cancer early, and I will make a full recovery.”

“Unfortunately, there are many people who are not so lucky. There is no hospice in the Midlands. We decided this time we would collaborate with the fundraising initiative #Hooves4Hospice.”

Breed Hassett, farming,

Fundraiser to support Hooves 4 Hospice

Banagher College has organised a raffle of a calf to aid Hooves 4 Hospice in reaching its goal of raising vital funds towards the cost of building the planned Midland Regional Hospice in Tullamore.

The purpose of Hooves 4 Hospice is to raise €1 million in funding towards the costs of building the planned Midland Regional Hospice.

Currently, the Midlands region, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, and Laois, is the only region in Ireland that does not have access to a Level 3 Hospice.

  • 1st Prize: Angus calf sponsored by Martin Finnerty & bag of calf nuts sponsored by Liffey mills OR its value in cash €300;
  • 2nd Prize: 3 bags of sweet tooth grass seed OR its value in cash €200 (Sponsored by J Grennan & Sons);
  • 3rd Prize: One for all voucher worth €200 sponsored by Banagher Precast Concrete;
  • 4th Prize: €150 voucher for the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone;
  • 5th Prize: Grant Farm Machinery voucher worth €100;
  • 6th Prize: A hamper from Kilbeggan Organic Foods worth €50;
  • 7th prize: 5 x 25kg bags of meal sponsored by Arrabawn Co-op worth €50;
  • 8th prize: 5 x 25kg bags of meal sponsored by Arrabawn Co-op worth €50;
  • 9th prize: €25 instore voucher sponsored by Arrabawn Co-op;
  • 10th prize: €25 instore voucher sponsored by Arrabawn Co-op.
More information

Tickets can be purchased locally (priced at €5) or online here.

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