Minister Leo Varadkar, Rugby Legend Tony Ward, and RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley in Rallying Call to Urge Support for Torch of Hope Relay in aid of ARC Cancer Support Centres

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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD today joined rugby legend, Tony Ward, and RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley, along with some inspiring cancer survivors, in the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin 2, to appeal to members of the public to lend their support to ARC Cancer Support Centres forthcoming Torch of Hope Relay. The event takes place around Dublin Bay on Sunday October 11 with organisers hoping to raise at least €60,000 for ARC’s drop-in centres and therapy services (all are provided free of charge).

This relay is a celebration of life and the memory of lost loved ones.  It brings together cancer survivors, families, friends and others who have been affected by cancer. The relay starts simultaneously in two locations, with separate groups setting off from the Northside and the Southside, before coming together at Dublin’s iconic Samuel Beckett Bridge. ARC has two drop-in centres in Dublin—on Eccles Street adjacent the Mater Hospital and on South Circular Road beside St James’s Hospital.  ARC provides a range of care, counselling and complementary therapy services, free of charge, to people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones.

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A Day of Inspiration & Hope
Minister Leo Varadkar, TD is encouraging the people of Dublin to come out and cheer on all those taking part in the Torch of Hope Relay.
“When it comes to cancer diagnosis and treatment, we know how important it is to have access to the best possible care. But in fighting cancer, studies have shown the importance of looking after your mind as much as your body.  That’s why events like the Torch of Hope are so important.  They bring people together and give a sense of hope for the future.  I’d ask Dubliners to come out and line the Torch of Hope route on Sunday October 11 and cheer on all those involved.”

For Ireland international rugby legend, Tony Ward, the ARC Torch of Hope is a day a celebration that leaves a deep and lasting impression on all those that take part.
“ARC is an extraordinary organisation that does really important work in supporting people with cancer and their loved ones to get through some very tough times. With people coming together from all parts of Ireland, it is a real delight to take part in what is such a special day, that touches you very, very deeply. Having been treated for cancer myself in recent years, for me, more than anything, the ARC Torch of Hope is a day of celebration. I look forward to meeting old friends and making lots of new ones on Sunday October 11.”

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With the majority of ARC’s funding coming from public donations, long-time ARC supporter, RTÉ presenter Keelin Shanley, is hoping people will dig deep.

“The great thing about the Torch of Hope is that you don’t have to be a gym fanatic to take part. Open to all levels of fitness, everyone, both young and old, can join at whatever point suits them along the route. In the first 7 months of this year ARC have had over 8,500 appointments taking place in their  two ARC centres which are provided completely free of charge. That is why it is so important that people get behind this event so that ARC can continue its great work and to be able to meet growing demand. So whether you sign up to take part or prefer to sponsor a participant, please do help in whatever way that you can.”

Lighting of Cauldron
The walk begins at 4.30 pm and sees two separate gatherings set off each bearing a single Torch of Hope—at Blackrock Park on the Southside and at the Wooden Bridge at Dollymount on the Northside. Both groups converge on the city centre at the Samuel Beckett Bridge at approximately 6pm. The last kilometre of the walk is dedicated to cancer survivors with two individuals, who have themselves experienced a cancer diagnosis, leading the way before coming together to finally light the Cauldron. This is followed by a ceremony with the North Dublin Community Gospel Choir, surprise celebrity appearances and entertainment at the chq building in the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre).

To receive a fundraising pack and sponsorship card, simply visit www.arccancersupport.ie, email fundraising@arccancersupport.ie or call 01 830 7333. The closing date for registration is Friday October 9. You can also follow ARC on Twitter – www.twitter.com/arccancerdublin – and on Facebook – www.facebook.com/arccancersupport