Daffodils are blooming in parks and in the country side as winter gives way to spring. They symbolise renewal and new life, promise and hope which makes them significant in Lent, and approaching Easter. As a child I loved their scent, maybe because of their calming effect on me.
We have come to associate daffodils with the Irish Cancer Society. Daffodil Day takes place on Friday, March 24th. Various events take place nationally throughout the month of March. It is the biggest fundraising event for the Irish Cancer Society. Thousands of volunteers sell daffodil pins and flowers on the streets, in businesses, homes and shopping centres to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.
Cancer affects us in so many different ways. As a child growing up in rural Ireland, I recall people referring to it as the “The Dreaded C” or the “Big C”. It was an illness of which little was known with no immediate known cure. We often hear of sad stories but we are aware too of stories with happy endings.
This Daffodil Day concept originated in Canada six decades ago. Representing the first flower of Spring, it is used for its bright, life-giving qualities and it is seen as a symbol of hope. The Irish Cancer Society was founded in Ireland by Professor Austin Darragh. He was inspired to start the Society in 1963 after being shocked by a statistic that 100 people in Ireland died each year from curable skin treatment.
Our fundraising efforts help cancer patients at every stage of their journey. Patients are given information and support from the Society’s Nurses on line or in one of the Society’s Centres throughout the country, to being driven to and from chemotherapy treatment by the Society’s Volunteer Drivers, to receiving emotional support through their professional counselling service. Fundraising for the Society makes sure cancer patients can access these services free of charge when they need it most.
It is the Society’s Night Nursing service which is synonymous with Daffodil Day and which supports patients at the end of their cancer journey. The Night Nursing Service operates every night of the year, providing palliative care to cancer patients so they can stay in the comfort of their own home. The Society’s Night Nurses give end of life care, offering support, advice and reassurance to their patients.
So when you buy a daffodil, support Daffodil Day or participate in an event organised in your local area, know that you are supporting a great cause, helping patients and families affected by cancer. We pray for all affected by cancer, we pray for doctors, nurses and carers who are bearers of God’s healing to all who are affected by cancer!