Speakers

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Amelia Deane

Hi, my name is Amelia Deane; I’m 18 years old and an A.L.L Childhood Cancer Survivor. I enjoy all things creative (arts, music, film, food,books). I’m an animal lover with my on kitten Loki and Bernese Mt dog Buddy :) I love travelling and exploring new places with family and friends. I strive for always treating people with kindness.

 
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Amy Nolan

Amy Nolan MSc. FRCSI, Head of Children, Adolescents & Young Adults (CAYA) at The Irish Cancer Society. Amy is responsible for a vital programme within The Irish Cancer Society; the delivery of bespoke services, and impactful advocacy campaigns to ensure compassionate support for patients and families affected by a CAYA cancer diagnosis. Amy has over two-decades of experience in the delivery of patient-centric cancer care and support. She was previously employed at St. James’s Hospital Dublin as Lead Cancer Nurse, and also managed the St. James’s Hospital Oncology Day Ward for seven years.  Other roles which Amy has held include positions within Palliative Care, and Cancer Genetic Testing. She holds an MSc. (First class) in Clinical Leadership in Healthcare from UCD, and has been awarded the RCSI Fellowship of the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery; in-recognition of outstanding work and exceptional long-term leadership in Nursing.

 
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Aoife Moggan

My name is Aoife Moggan. Psychology graduate. Podcast enthusiast and boxset binger. Am happiest when people watching, being creative or catching up with my friends and family over endless cups of tea! I was diagnosed with a spinal Astrocytoma at 13 and have been on the difficult, complicated and privileged road that is illness and survivorship for the last 24 years. A journey that I believe has put me in good stead to become a patient advocate, a role I am very proud to hold.

 
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Benji Bennett

Award-winning author Benji Bennett lives in Dublin, where he writes and publishes the Adams’s Amazing Adventure series of picture books.

His first book, “Before you Sleep,” is deeply inspired by the untimely and sudden death of Benji’s son Adam who died in his arms on the 13th of August 2008, also Benji’s birthday. His books contain Adam’s important message to parents about the importance of expressing their love to their children by reading to them at bedtime before they go to sleep.

To ensure his book was published, Benji established a new publishing company, AdamsCloud.com, to publish Adam’s books and support Children’s Charities, Make-a-Wish Foundation and Barretstown Camp for Sick Children with a donation from the sale of each book.

Immediately after publication on Adam’s 1st anniversary, Benji’s first book, “Before you Sleep”, quickly raced up the charts to become a bestseller and won the Irish Book Awards Children’s book of the year Award 2009 on the 6th May 2009.

 
 
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Carina Schneider

At the age of 17 Carina was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Experiencing the lack of adequate long-term follow-up care, she became active as a patient advocate in 2009. In 2017, she was part of the group of survivor-representatives from across Europe who launched the survivors-network within CCI Europe. Later that year, she joined the CCI Europe Committee.

Carina studied psychology and has worked in paediatric oncology since 2013, first in the Austrian Childhood Cancer Organisation and later at the Medical University of Vienna. In January 2022 she became CCI Europe’s Managing Director, and together with a committed team, dedicated Committee Members and patient advocates from CCI Europe’s member organisations they are working for a better future for children with cancer, survivors, and their families.

 
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Deirdre Love

Evidence Methodologist, Evidence & Quality Hub, National Cancer Control Programme, Dublin.

Deirdre Love is an Evidence Methodologist with the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP). Deirdre is also currently the Project Manager for the development of a National CAYA Model of Care for Psycho-Oncology, which is due to be launched later this year.

Deirdre completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology with NUI Galway, followed by a Masters in Health Psychology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Psycho-Oncology. Deirdre has had a varied career in the HSE over the last 10 years (7 of which she has worked with the NCCP) as a research officer, a business manager, and more recently a project manager for psycho-oncology.

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Evelyn Griffith

My name is Evelyn Griffith and I'm from Kildare. I qualified as a nurse (RGN) in 1997 and worked on the oncology ward in the Mater hospital for over 18 months before travelling to Australia for a year. When I returned in May 2000 I worked as an agency nurse again working on the Oncology Unit in the Mater for regular periods.  I started working with CanTeen in May 2001, so am 20 years working with young people with cancer. I then trained in holistic therapies - holistic massage, reflexology and Indian head massage. In 2014 I received my BSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy from PCI College & Middlesex University and work as a psychotherapist on a part time basis. I am a fully accredited member of IACP since February 2018.

 
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Fergal McNamara

Principal of Our Lady’s Hospital School, Crumlin. Fergal has been involved in teaching children and young people with medical or mental health needs for over 20 years. He began teaching at Our Lady’s Hospital School in 2006 and took on the role of Principal in 2020. Fergal currently sits on the board of directors of HOPE, a European Association of Hospital Teachers and is an Associate Editor of the academic journal ‘Continuity in Education'.

 
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Frieda Clinton

Frieda Clinton RCN, RGN, RANP, RNP, HDip Oncology Nursing, MSc Advanced Practice. Biography 2022. Frieda Clinton trained as a paediatric nurse in the early ‘80’s and as a general nurse in the late ’80. Having worked her way up through the ranks in CHI at Crumlin Hospital, Frieda became increasingly interested in the ANP role in 2000, and in 2007, she was accredited as the first paediatric Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) in Ireland. In her role as an ANP in Paediatric Oncology, Frieda strives to deliver patient centered quality coordinated care in the hospital setting. Working with the multidisciplinary healthcare team, she provides care and support for children/adolescents and their families throughout their challenging cancer journey from diagnosis, treatment and management.  Frieda is very interested in long term follow up care and survivorship for children with cancer and is currently involved in a national needs assessment project for childhood cancer survivors, their parents/guardians and carers.

 
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Geraldine & Max Doyle

Hi my name is Geraldine married to John. We have 3 children Brógan, Max & Oscar. In 2010 our middle child Max was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged three and a half. Max went on to have a Tumour resection, VP Shunt placed, high dose chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. He has just started in TY. Max enjoys meeting people who have had a similar life experience. He enjoys talking to his friends, listening to music, gaming and bright colours.

I love going for walks on the beach or in the woods, being creative, gardening and spending time with my amazing family.

 
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Jenny Fitzpatrick

Jenny is a PhD student with the Irish Cancer Society and Technological University of the Shannon (Midlands). Jenny graduated with a B.Sc. in Physical Activity and Health Science from AIT in 2021. She is currently undertaking a PhD that focuses on creating a physical activity and dietary behaviour programme for teenagers aged 12–16 years who have completed active cancer treatment. Jenny is very passionate about advocating for the inclusion of such programmes to help teenagers increase their quality of life and physical function post-treatment. If you would like to keep up to date on this research project, feel free to have a look at the following social media accounts:

Instagram: jennyfitz.phd              
Twitter: @jennyfitz98 

 
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Jessica Heffernan

My name is Jessica Heffernan, I am 23 years old and I am from Co. Wicklow. I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia when I was 14 and was treated in Crumlin hospital. Then also when I was 20 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. I had chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant in December 2019 and am doing great now. I am starting my 1st year in Social Care at SETU and I am very excited to start my Social Care journey. 

 
 
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Karl Corcoran

I’m Karl Corcoran, 24, I live in Longwood, Co. Meath. In January 2021, after being misdiagnosed the year previous, I was diagnosed with High Grade B Cell Lymphoma. After surgery and 4 rounds of chemo I was officially in remission in June 2021. I have a degree in Sports Science from AIT and work in a gym as a coach, as well as coaching and doing performance analysis with Gaelic Football teams. I’m passionate about sport and exercise. Since being diagnosed, my interest and focus has developed around the benefits of exercise with people undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment.

 
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Kim Murray

Cancer Support Specialists offer emotional support to families primarily at time of great distress, following a cancer diagnosis, following relapse or when curative optional are no longer available. The role of the cancer care specialist is critical in helping parents process the enormity of what is happening to their child and family. Helping parents process the emotional impact of the diagnosis and providing therapeutic tools and strategies when needed to manage the intrusion of cancer in their lives.

 

I have a wealth of experience supporting families, having worked for over 10 years as a Social Worker on St Johns Ward and privately as a grief and loss psychotherapist.   I work as part of a multidisciplinary team, providing informal social and emotional support to ensure to ensure children diagnosed with cancer and their parents feel supported during their time in hospital.

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Laura Cullinan

Laura is a financial consultant and lives in Roscommon with her husband John and children, Charlie 14, Isobel 10 and Alexia 9. Isobel was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumour in 2014, when she was only 21 months old and unfortunately relapsed in 2015, with metastasis on her lung. Thankfully Isobel is now doing well, but as Laura advocates, childhood cancer is a life-long diagnosis.

Laura joined Childhood Cancer Foundation (now Childhood Cancer Ireland) in 2014 and served on the Board of Directors from November 2015 until August 2022. She is passionate about highlighting the many challenges faced by families and survivors of childhood cancer. Laura’s particular focus is on identifying and solving the gaps in psychosocial supports and educational needs in the community and on highlighting the financial impact for families living with childhood cancer. Laura believes that increased public awareness of childhood cancer will ultimately lead to more funding and research, as well as early diagnosis, improved survival rates and fewer side effects from harsh chemotherapy drugs and treatment protocols.

 
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Linda McEntee

Linda is an accountant and lecturer, married to Mark and is a mother of three children. Her daughter, Sadie, received a cancer diagnosis in January 2019 and completed treatment in September 2020. Prior to her daughter’s diagnosis, Linda had no experience of cancer, let alone childhood cancer and the devastating impact and trail of destruction it causes, not only to the family unit itself but also to members of the extended family, friends and community.  

 
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Lucy Cronly

Parent to Eoin who was diagnosed with cancer age 11.

My experience with managing my son’s cancer treatment and its aftermath in education spans primary, secondary and third level. Eoin is now 20 and in third level with DARE supports. We faced different challenges at each level and I will share some of the supports we engaged to keep education on track. Currently, I’m a WACN Accredited professional coach with neuroscience, with a particular interest in young adults working to supporting them to be their best selves. My background is social care and family therapy. My purpose in coaching is to listen with heart, head and gut so that wisdom can be accessed, gaps can be bridged and we can be our best selves.

 
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Mariosa Grace-Churchard

My name is Mariosa Grace-Churchard. I am 24 years old. When I was 14 I was diagnosed with Lymphnophatic Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. As a side effect of treatment I developed AVN which resulted in the need to have both my shoulders replaced and one total hip replacement.

Like many people who have suffered side effects from cancer treatment I have found it near impossible to get the services I need. Changing how people who have survived cancer treatment access services will have a tremendous impact on how we can go about living our lives and recovering after having cancer.

 
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Mary-Claire Rennick

Volunteer Director of Childhood Cancer Ireland. Mary-Claire is married to Brian and has 3 children, Sophie 23, Alice 19 and William 17. They live in Meath. She practised as a Solicitor in Dublin until 2010. Alice was diagnosed with Acute Promylocytic Leukaemia in 2013 and was treated at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin for 2.5 years. Alice completed her Leaving Cert and is studying Tourism and Digital Marketing in TUD.  Mary-Claire co-founded Childhood Cancer Ireland  (and LIGHT IT UP GOLD for childhood cancer awareness ) in 2013 with a group of parents of children attending CHI @Crumlin and Shared Care Centres for cancer treatment. She is a passionate parent advocate for the CAYA and survivorship community whose lived experience is used to highlight many challenges and unmet needs. She believes these should be prioritised, addressed and resolved through collaboration on investment in health and psycho-social supports and services....

 
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Meliosa Bracken

Melíosa is married to Stephen, and they have four adult children – Ais, Niall, Aoife and Fletcher. At age 3, Fletcher was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilm’s Tumour. The cancer was successfully treated, but Fletcher later developed anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy.  By age 16, Fletcher was in end-stage heart failure and needed a heart transplant. Thanks to their donor, Fletcher is now doing well but continues to experience significant late effects from their cancer treatment. Melíosa works in Further and Higher Education and specialises in educational disadvantage and lifelong learning.  She has worked as an associate researcher and lecturer in UCD School of Education and in DACE, Maynooth University . Currently, she works for CDETB, managing a community education programme for adults experiencing social and/or educational disadvantage in South Inner City Dublin. 

 
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Naomi Algeo

Naomi is a Senior Occupational Therapist in Oncology & Haematology at St. James' Hospital, and sits on the World Health Organisation Development Group for Cancer Rehabilitation. Her PhD research focused on supporting return to work following a cancer diagnosis. In 2022, she was awarded the Irish Cancer Society Allied Health Professional Cancer Research Award and will lead in a national study exploring health concerns that impact on returning to education and work following a cancer diagnosis for AYAs, while also identifying the supports required to facilitate successful return to education/work in Ireland.

 
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Niamh O’Sullivan

Niamh O’Sullivan BScN., Pg.Cert, Pg.Cert., MSc is assistant director of nursing for adolescent and young adult cancer @CHI, Crumlin. Niamh received her nursing degree from Trinity College, Dublin in 2008 . Further study includes Pg. Certs in adult cancer nursing, teenage and young adult cancer care and a MSc in nursing studies through Coventry university, UK. Recipient of the Stephen Sutton award 2018 for academic work and scholarship during teenage and young adult cancer care studies. Her early nursing career focused on  adult medical and surgical nursing but quickly found interest in cancer specialist services. First worked in dedicated AYA services in Australia across multiple senior nursing roles, returning to Ireland in 2015 and undertaking staff nurse, management and nurse specialist roles in cancer services within St James’s hospital, Dublin. Joined the AYA cancer team in January 2021.

Niamh has a passionate interest in improving outcomes for AYA cancer and to advocate for thoughtful care that respects the priorities and life circumstances unique to AYA cancer patients. Committed to partnering with young people to deliver services and influence policy reflective of AYA needs.

 
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Noelle Cullinan

Dr. Noelle Cullinan is a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist based at Children's Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. Having completed her paediatric training in Ireland, she undertook a clinical and research fellowship in paediatric oncology at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto. Since her return to Ireland in 2019, she has continued her research interests and earlier this year (January 2022), she was officially appointed as a Consultant Paediatric Oncologist with a special interest in Cancer Genetics, following a funding award from the Irish Cancer Society in collaboration with CHI at Crumlin. She is passionate about children who have an underlying predisposition to cancer development and is currently working on the development of a multidisciplinary paediatric cancer genetics service in collaboration with her Haematology/Oncology and Clinical Genetics Colleagues. 

 
 
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Owen Smith

Owen Smith is Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine at University College Dublin, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin and Chief Academic Lead to the Children Hospital Group. He is the National Clinical Lead for Child, Adolescent & Young Adult cancers at the National Cancer Control Programme. Professor Smith also holds the title, Honorary Regius Professor of Physic (1637) in the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin.

The co-author of more than 400 research original articles, letters, books, book chapters and papers, Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians of Dublin, Royal College of Physicians London, Royal College of Physicians Glasgow, and Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh. 

 
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Patricia McColgan

Patricia is married to Jimmy McGrath – they live in Dublin and have 2 sons James and Rory and grandson Tadhg who is 5.

Rory was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and had treatment in Beaumont, St. Lukes and Crumlin hospitals. He’s now 28 and loves Shelbourne FC, socialising and travelling. When Rory had to leave the paediatric cancer service in Crumlin Hospital, it became clear that there was nowhere to transition to. Garry Owens and his son Daniel had the same experience. Together, with the support of Dr. Julianne Byrne of the Boyne Research Institute, they set up CanCare4Living to advocate for long term follow up for CAYA survivors #MoreThanCure.

 
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Sarah Curry

Currently a dedicated consultant paediatric oncologist, with subspecialty expertise in neuro-oncology, practicing at The National Children’s Cancer Service (NCCS); Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. I pride myself in delivering comprehensive family-based care for patients with a wide range of cancers, in both the acute and ambulatory setting, in addition to providing specialist advice for paediatric teams throughout the Republic of Ireland. My Irish training, in addition to two specialty fellowships at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and UK consultant experience prepared me optimally for this role. I am a patient focused oncologist adept at managing children and young adults with all types of cancer in the diagnostic, treatment, surveillance, follow up, survivorship and sometimes, palliative phase of care. 

 
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Tafadzwa Mandiwanza

Ms Tafadzwa Mandiwanza completed her undergraduate medical degree, MB BCH BAO, at University College Cork in 2005. She then underwent neurosurgical training in Dublin and Cork, obtaining the FRCSI (Neurosurgery) in 2019. She completed a subspecialty fellowship in Paediatric Neurosurgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in September 2021. She commenced a Consultant Neurosurgeon position at CHI Temple Street in December 2021 and is the first female Paediatric Neurosurgeon in Ireland.

Her interests include: spinal dysraphism, management of complex tone particularly Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, management of hydrocephalus, neuro-ocology and endoscopic neurosurgery. She has developed an interest in Quality Improvement and Leadership with a diploma from the Royal College of Physicians. She strongly believes that every person deserves respect and kindness. That is the very least she can do for the children and parents in her care.

 
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Toby Peach

Toby is an award-winning theatre maker who has toured theatre shows worldwide about his experience of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and runs Beyond Arts, who amplify young voices of cancer experiencers to evolve the cancer narrative through storytelling projects like The Origin Of Carmen Power, Looking Forward and AfterThoughts

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Yvonne Cunningham

Yvonne Cunningham is an Educational Psychologist and Integrative Psychotherapist based in Galway who has worked in field of education, teaching, assessment and intervention of students of all ages from preschool to third level education for over twenty-five years. Yvonne is passionate about bringing awareness, information, hope and healing to the cognitive, emotional and behavioural imprints of traumatic experiences using holistic and bottom-up approaches. Yvonne is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and assists in Dr. Stephen Terrell’s training for Transforming the Experienced Based Brain (TEB).

 
 
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Yvonne Lucas

Yvonne Lucas is Head of Services at ARC Cancer Support Centres, Dublin. ARC provides in-person and remote psychological, emotional, educational and practical support to people of all ages (5+) with a cancer diagnosis, and their family members. ARC introduced developmentally appropriate CAYA Survivorship support to ARC’s services last year, including one-to-one counselling/play/art therapy, and supports for siblings. Yvonne herself is a Trauma-Informed Clinical Psychotherapist, specialising in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and Play Therapy. She is passionate about supporting the needs of young people through psycho-social supports, and working to bridge the systemic needs of families impacted by cancer.

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