Claudy pupils back cancer campaign

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Three pupils from St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s College in Claudy have marked Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Londonderry by presenting a cheque for over £1000 following a non-uniform day held at the school.

Chelsea O’Kane (13), Caelan O’Connell (16) and Aaron McKeever (16) – pictured - joined representatives of the charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK at an event held at the Guildhall – on the same evening that all of the council buildings were lit up purple, as part of Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Purple Lights for Hope campaign.

Rachel Convery, a Pancreatic Cancer UK Nurse Specialist and her colleague, Community Involvement Co-ordinator Michelle Penney had also spent a day at St Patrick’s and St Bridget’s College last month, helping to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer amongst staff and pupils.

Principal of St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s College, Deirdre O’Kane – who has also taken part in Kildare’s tough ‘Runamuck Challenge’ in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Having lost my own mum to pancreatic cancer last year, I am very aware of the difficulties experienced by those who are suffering from this illness and the challenges facing their carers and families.

“We are delighted to support Pancreatic Cancer UK, in St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s College and we are keen to assist the charity in getting important information about this cancer into the public arena.

“The generosity of our pupils continues to overwhelm me. We hope to continue to work closely with Rachel and her team in ensuring awareness of pancreatic cancer is raised in the North West. Our Head of Religious Education, Mr Michael Donnelly is currently continuing our fundraising for the charity by growing a moustache for ‘Movember.’”

In Northern Ireland, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all the 21 most common cancers and just five per cent of patients survive for five years after diagnosis. Over 200 people die from the disease in Northern Ireland each year.