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24/10/2021

Tributes paid to 'inspirational' cervical cancer campaigner who has passed away

Tributes paid to 'inspirational' cervical cancer campaigner who has passed away

The Irish Cancer Society has led tributes to inspirational cervical cancer advocate and HPV vaccination campaigner Eileen Rushe.

Expressing its sadness at the news of her death last night, the Irish Cancer Society said: "Since she first received a diagnosis of cervical cancer in December 2018, Eileen has been an incredible advocate both for women living with cervical cancer, and for future generations to protect themselves through vaccination".

The mother-of-one received apologies and an undisclosed sum from the HSE last March for failings in her care at the Louth County Hospital.

Despite often experiencing setbacks over the course of her journey, the Irish Cancer Society said Eileen never relented in her efforts to spread her own important and powerful cancer prevention message.

"She made a memorable contribution to the Irish Cancer Society’s 2020 Daffodil Day launch, and many of you will know Eileen from her appearance in our Still Here television advertisement this year," they said. 

As recently as two weeks ago Eileen once again shared her story in urging parents to allow their children receive the HPV vaccine.

"Eileen was a truly wonderful person who left a profound impression on all who had the privilege to know or deal with her, and her enduring legacy will be the many people her words helped influence to protect themselves and their loved ones against avoidable cancer diagnoses in future," the tribute added. 

Eileen passed away last night in the company of family, and she is survived by her son Seamus, her parents Mary and Jim, and her siblings Siobhán and Eoin. 

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