Helena Coleman will be taking part in the CUH Charity Triathlon at Farran Woods. Photo: Brian Lougheed

Helena’s giving back to CUH

A woman whose family has faced a series of cancer diagnoses is gearing up for a triathlon to support the hospital which guided them through the health nightmare.

Helena Coleman’s sister faced into a breast cancer battle within 2 years of their mother’s death from the same illness.

Now Helena is determined to raise funds to support oncology services at CUH, which cared for both women.

“As well as the medical support from CUH, we also benefitted from the emotional support, there are down days when you’re worried and sad, everyone’s entitled to them, but you just bounce back,” said Helena, 52, from Silversprings in Cork city.

“As a family we are very practical and we realised having gone through all of this, how resilient the human spirit is,” she added.

Helena’s mum Anne Marie, a Youghal-native, was struck twice with cancer, once in her 70s, which she successfully fought off, but nearly a decade later, secondary cancer led to her death during the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020, aged 80.

The family was still coming to terms with the loss when the same disease struck Helena’s sister Marguerite, 42, who was diagnosed last August. In a 3rd blow, Helena’s other sister, Barbara, a 45 year old mum of 2, also had to face the illness 4 months later, and is being treated in a separate hospital.

To give back to CUH, Helena is embarking on the CUH Charity Triathlon in Cork’s Farran Wood on 27 May which involves a 1km open swim, 32km cycle, and 6km run. The charity is urging others to sign up as places are still available.

To support her fundraiser for CUH Charity, visit the online donation page open until 30 May at idonate.ie/fundraiser/HelenaColeman1242, or sign up to take part in the event at cuhcharity.ie/triathlon23.