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Vera is Cork Person of the Month

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018 3:47pm

Campaigner Vera Twomey has been named the Cork Person of the Month for May.

Ms Twomey rose to national prominence during a three-year campaign to secure access to medicinal cannabis to treat her daughter Ava’s rare form of epilepsy, called Dravet Syndrome. The condition is potentially lethal, and has previously pushed Ava into cardiac arrest and an eight-day coma.

Her campaigning included two 260-kilometre walks from Cork to the Dáil to capture the Government’s attention, a successful social media campaign, and her husband Paul living abroad with Ava to guarantee supply of her necessary medicine.

Ms Twomey successfully campaigned for then Health Minister Simon Harris to grant a special licence which allows Ava to receive medicinal cannabis treatments. She also lobbied the Government to include the cost of Ava’s €12,000 a year treatment under its long-term illness scheme.

Awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said Ms Twomey was a deserving winner of the Cork Person of the Month award. “The whole country was captivated by Vera’s fight for Ava to receive the required medicinal cannabis treatment she required to treat her condition,” he said.

“She was fearless in her pursuit of this and she’s a lesson to us all in perseverance and tenacity but as well as that the love she has shown for Ava is inspirational.”

Ms Twomey said: “I’m honoured to receive this great award and it’s a further example of the incredible support I’ve received from the Irish people, and especially from Cork county and city, all throughout our journey.”

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