Breast cancer survivor brings chemo comfort

Martina Doran presents the chemo care packs and a cheque to staff from Craigavon Area Hospital. INPT39
Martina Doran presents the chemo care packs and a cheque to staff from Craigavon Area Hospital. INPT39

A primary school teacher has donated a cheque and 40 chemotherapy care packs to Craigavon Area Hospital after successfully undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Martina Doran (38) was a teacher at St John the Baptist PS when she was diagnosed with a grade three tumour last April.

The mother-of-two, whose youngest child had just turned one the week before she received the shocking news, underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy and reconstruction.

She said, “I thought the lump was related to hormonal changes after pregnancy. I think all women should be aware that you are slightly more at risk of breast cancer in the year after giving birth and should check their breasts.

“Chemo has some horrific side effects and I was hospitalised twice with infections during my treatment, for a week each time.”

In December, Martina was relieved to receive the all-clear, and as a way of saying thank-you and helping other women in the same position, the Lurgan woman organised a fundraising night and raffle which raised £2,900.

On Friday, she went along to the hospital where she presented a cheque for £1,400 to the Mandeville Unit and the chemo packs to the Glenane Unit.

The packs contain a number of practical items and little luxuries, which Martina said she would have appreciated when she was undergoing treatment.

She said, “There is a turban which is really comfortable to wear when you lose your hair, a brush specifically for wigs, lip balm and vouchers for reflexology, Menarys and Dunnes, plus lots of other little items.

“If these packs can brighten up a patient’s day or help them out when they need to stay in hospital, then all the effort has been worthwhile.”

Martina, who is married to Mark and has two children, Aoife (5) and Ciaran (2), has thanked everyone who supported her including family, colleagues, local companies for their generous donations and musician Seamy Brady.