Saturday, December 16, 2017

#GiveUsASong for cancer research

A countrywide invitation is being extended to singers, choirs, and musical groups in schools and businesses to organise a sing-song over the weekend of 2-4 February, to help the fight against cancer, writes Brian Byrne.

Groups of individual friends can also get involved in the Caroline Foundation for Cancer Research's #GiveUsASong fundraiser to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February.

Aine Lawlor of RTE is the 'face' of the event, for which participants are asked to register their session with the Caroline Foundation to receive a #GiveUsASong pack, validate the fundraiser, and have the gig listed on the website of The Caroline Foundation. "Each event can be as simple or elaborate as the organisers want it to be," says Helen O’Sullivan-Dwyer, who established and is chairperson of the Foundation.

The Foundation is a constituent of Cancer Clinical Research Trust (CCRT) led by Prof John Crown. Its mission is to fund additional research scientists to work within CCRT team through The Caroline Foundation Fellowship, which fully funds Dr Alyson Murray and co-funds Dr Fred McMahon.

It was established in the memory of Caroline Dwyer, who died at the age of 35 after a protracted battle with cancer. During this time she was the first in Ireland to participate in some trials through the CCRT which has bases in UCD, DCU and St Vincent’s University Hospital. The custom-made treatment she received not only extended but enhanced Caroline’s life.

"We are a volunteer driven organisation, 100pc of funds raised going into cancer research — no fees, no expenses," says Helen O’Sullivan-Dwyer. "CCRT is part of a global network of cancer researchers and we believe that irrespective of where research happens the learning benefits everyone — whether we are in Dublin, Cork, Belfast or London."

Anyone interested in taking part can register their interest by emailing Helen at

Caroline was the daughter of your Editor's first cousin Dermod Dwyer. It would seem appropriate that I bring my own guitar out in public for this cause, and if anyone wants to join me in a #GiveUsASong session on that weekend, get in touch.