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08th Aug 2023

Mum from Ireland’s Fittest Family raises funds for cancer services following recent diagnosis 

Jody Coffey

Lisa Gallagher was diagnosed with breast cancer in the March of this year.

If you watched Ireland’s Fittest Family in 2022, you may remember the Gallagher family when mum Lisa and her three children, Connor, Molly, and James, made it to the final of the RTÉ series.

The Donegal woman, 51, having received a shocking diagnosis of breast cancer this March, is now on a mission to raise vital funds for Cancer Care West.

Lisa is currently receiving chemotherapy following two surgeries and has shaved her head in solidarity to raise money for the Cancer Rehab Service, which has supported her through her journey.

The Cancer Care West Centre in Letterkenny, and also Galway, is a service for adults before, during, and after their cancer diagnosis.

They offer emotional and community-based practical support services free of charge to those affected by cancer.

Just last Wednesday (August 2nd) the preschool manager had her head shaved at local hairdressers, Haircraft, by Julie McGuigan, while surrounded by friends and family and has a Facebook fundraiser for people to donate to the incredible cause. 

So far, the donation page has garnered upwards of €4,000 from supporters applauding Lisa’s inspirational head shave. 

Speaking to the Irish Daily Mirror, the Donegal native urged all women to go with their “gut instinct” when something doesn’t feel right.

“Go and get checked. Obviously, I didn’t even have a thought that there was anything wrong when I went for my checkup. When you’re over 50, you automatically apply and go for breast checks. Everyone should definitely do that.”

According to Breast Cancer Ireland, Ireland sees 3,700 new cases diagnosed yearly

One in nine women will develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime, with male breast cancer one in 1,000.

Women between the ages of 20 and 25 account for 23% of women diagnosed, while 34% of women are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 69.

Meanwhile, 36% of women are diagnosed over the age of 70.

Some of the symptoms to be mindful of include:

  • A puckering of the skin of the breast.
  • A lump in the breast or armpit.
  • A change in their skin around the nipple or nipple discharge.
  • Dimpling of the nipple of nipple retraction.
  • An unusual increase in the size of one breast.
  • One breast is unusually lower than the other – nipples at different levels.
  • An enlargement of the glands.
  • Unusual swelling in the armpit.

Below is a video on how to self-check your breasts provided by the Marie Keating Foundation.