THE care Amy Hinchy witnessed her aunt Kathleen receive in the final weeks of her life inspired her to take up a career in cancer nursing.
Amy, from Castletroy, wanted to do all she could to help other cancer patients in similar situations.
A staff nurse at University Hospital Limerick, Amy is hoping her story will raise awareness of a new Irish Cancer Society fundraising event to replace the Colour Dash fun runs which usually take place in Limerick and across the country around this time of year.
“I think you know more about what people are going through when you have been on the other side yourself,” said Amy of her decision to pursue a career in cancer nursing.
“I’m working in 4B at the moment which is the oncology services in UHL. I’m qualified since last year and I’ve been working there since December.”
Amy was incredibly close to her aunt Kathleen Hinchy from Pallasgreen, who was a long-time volunteer at Limerick Animal Welfare. Amy saw her bravely battle a number of cancer diagnoses before she passed away at the care centre in Milford.
“I was like a daughter to her. She was a very nice person, very friendly. She had a great love for animals,” Amy recalled.
Amy was a nursing student in university at the time of Kathleen’s passing in 2017.
Amy has fundraised a lot of money for both the Irish Cancer Society and Milford Care Centre through a number of events, including donating some of her hair to the Little Princess Fund.
The month after Kathleen passed away, Amy took part in the Colour Dash. “The first one I did was in Phoenix Park and when I came home I did the Limerick one last year.”
One of the most popular and fun fundraisers for cancer care, after each kilometre during the Colour Dash, a different colour – representing a different cancer – of powder paint is thrown at participants, creating a kaleidoscope of colour.
Unfortunately as with Daffodil Day, The Irish Cancer Society had to cancel this year’s Colour Dash races due to Covid-19. However, Amy is doing all she can to support the upcoming replacement event called the Colour Dash Family 5k which people are encouraged to do from home this Sunday, July 5.
People can bike, scoot, skip or jog the 5k dressed in their favourite bright colours. Why not get creative and decorate your bikes and scooters too!
“I think everybody knows somebody who has had cancer. For people going through it, there are great services such as counselling, night nurses, and there are people who volunteer as well. Funding is so important for these people to do what they do,” said Amy.
For more details about the Family 5k see www.Cancer.ie/ColourDash