Brian Kennedy, a cancer survivor, said: ‘Vicky has tried everything to stay here, but it hasn’t worked.

Singer Brian Kennedy recalls the first time he met Vicky Phelan in 2018.

diagnosed with cancer in 2016, he was exploring experimental treatments before surgery when he first met the late campaigner.

“I have heard about this vitamin C treatment. They give it intravenously and it’s supposed to get everything out of your body,” he says.

“So it was pretty experimental, but I wanted to be someone where when you put me in surgery, I wouldn’t miss a single stone.

“I was going to a quaint little industrial estate near Portlaoise and you had to know exactly where to go, which stairs to take and which door to knock on.

“I told my oncologist what I was planning to do because I didn’t want to do anything that was detrimental to what they were doing. So I’m going to go every two weeks and meet this lovely lady named Vicky. We chatted and her husband was always with her and he could go out and buy us bread.

“And for two hours we chat or take a nap and at the end we always say cheer and she knows I’m a singer. And then I started seeing her on TV and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Vicky from that place’. And then I started following her journey.

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“What was really lasting about her was how determined she was to give her all. She is a true warrior in that sense.

“And it was devastating, when I watched the news the other day. I thought, ‘She’s tried absolutely every way to stay here and it’s not working’. It’s heartbreaking for her husband and children.”

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Kennedy knows he is lucky to be alive today, after being diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2016 and undergoing months of radiation and chemotherapy followed by a nine-hour surgery in London. in 2018.

He fully recovered from the disease in 2019, but last June he suffered a heart attack and had to have four amputations at St James’s in Dublin.

Good health today, he said of the arbitrary nature of illness.

“Cancer has all the cards and it’s not a fair fight,” he said. “When I was diagnosed in 2016, my eldest brother Martin was also diagnosed and he passed away after 5 months. And I’m still here six years later, in good health and scanned – so far, so good.”

Kennedy (56) is supporting a cause close to his heart, the Light Up Lives fundraiser at Our Lady of Hospice and Care on December 4.

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the event, which will also be a memorial service for those who have lost loved ones.

Kennedy will perform at a concert at the south facility, with 10,000 people expected to attend the event free of charge.

Donations can be made through Brian Kennedy, a cancer survivor, said: ‘Vicky has tried everything to stay here, but it hasn’t worked.

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