In the last couple of weeks The Marie Keating Foundation has held two skin cancer information seminars in both Limerick and Cork. I have to applaud their efforts to raise awareness of the risks and signs of skin cancer through their Spot The Difference Campaign and the filming of their video Skintervention which they also aired on both days.
They had approached us at Melanoma Support Ireland earlier this year to see if any of our members would be willing to take part in the video. Two members Anne and Aisling volunteered and the finished video is amazing. It strikes just the right balance of course its not an easy subject to talk about and I’m sure from talking to the ladies it was a rollercoaster of emotions that day, and on the day they got to view it with a full room of people at The Marie Keating Skintervention seminar in Cork.
Both seminars covered a range of topics and had guest speakers who were very well qualified to speak about Skin Cancer. At the Strand Hotel Limerick those invited to speak included Shelia Ryan an Advance Nurse Practitioner who gave an in depth explanation of the different types and signs of Skin Cancer. She was followed by Evelyn Power an Advanced Clinical Nurse specialising in Skin Cancer from Regional Hospital Limerick she spoke about her role supporting patients through their treatment. Margaret Collier also spoke to us on her experience of being diagnosed with early stage melanoma. Their was time to talk to the experts one to one at the end of the seminar for anyone who had concerns.
In Cork the Seminar was held at The Imperial Hotel and there was a good turnout the format was the same as Limerick but in Cork the session started with a presentation by Consultant Dermatologist from the Bons Secours Dr. Gillian Gibson who also gave a detailed explanation of different skin cancer types she also took questions afterwards which was very helpful to those attending. She was followed by a specialist nurse in dermatology from SIVUH Cork who explained the process involved in being assessed and treated for skin cancer at the South Infirmary fast access clinic for melanoma. She did admit most support is available for patients pre-diagnosis that is why a group like Melanoma Support Ireland is invaluable in helping newly diagnosed patients in Ireland.
Our group member Anne O’Leary who is also founder of Sunny Days skin cancer prevention campaign spoke to those gathered about her experience as a Melanoma Patient with advanced disease. Anne was very courageous as it is never easy to speak to a room full of strangers about your health problems. Both seminars finished with a talk and introduction to mindfulness before we left for home. Marie Keating will continue to champion the cause of skin cancer awareness and more information on their Spot The Difference campaign pls visit their website where you can watch the skintervention