Sports stars back viral campaign supporting cancer charities

Irish Cancer Society says initiative led to €27,000 in text donations in two days

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is among the Irish and international sports stars that have backed an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for cancer services.  File photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images.

Former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is among the Irish and international sports stars that have backed an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for cancer services. File photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images.

 

Irish and international sports stars have been backing an online campaign to raise awareness and funds for cancer services.

The campaign, which started to support the HEADstrong Foundation in the US, sees people share photos of themselves playing sport.

The US campaign saw sports people, including lacrosse player Stephanie Finley, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, share photos in support of the charity.

The Irish Cancer Society has received a sudden influx in donations off the back of the campaign with more than €27,000 in text donations arriving in two days.

On social media people have shared images of themselves playing sport, alongside the caption @HEADstrongfnd. It is also expected that you tag three people after you upload your picture, and they are then expected to do the same to encourage more donations. Fomer Republic of Ireland footballers Robbie Keane and Shay Given have supported the initiative.

The charity said the money will be invested in lifesaving cancer research and free services to ensure families in every community in Ireland affected by cancer are supported.

Mark Mellett, head of fundraising with the Irish Cancer Society, said one Irish person is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes so fundraising is vital.

“The generous donations we have received off the back of this campaign will help us meet the ever increasing demands on our services,” he said.

Donations can be made by texting Cancer to 50300. A text costs €4 and the Irish Cancer Society will receive a minimum of €3.60, or people can donate at www.cancer.ie