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The Last Word With Matt Cooper

How I Survived A Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

On Tuesday 30 April, Today FM is hosting a National Day of Dancing at the National Stadium in Dublin...
Sarah Stacey
Sarah Stacey

6:28 PM - 26 Apr 2019



The Last Word With Matt Cooper

How I Survived A Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

Sarah Stacey
Sarah Stacey

6:28 PM - 26 Apr 2019

Listen to this episode



On Tuesday 30 April, Today FM is hosting a National Day of Dancing at the National Stadium in Dublin, to help raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society as part of Dare To Care.

Andrew O'Riordan from Cork joined us on The Last Word to share his inspirational story of surviving a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Andrew was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma with an oesophageal fistula in October 2011.

He had been suffering from a persistent cough for several months and was admitted to hospital after almost collapsing, receiving his diagnosis a week later.

He was 23 years old, newly married, and had just started a business.

"At 23 you have your whole life ahead of you, and this whole diagnosis took about five or six years out of where my plans were going."

Serious complications developed after Andrew started having chemo. He responded so quickly that, as one of the tumours started breaking down, it opened up the communication in his throat and he went into respiratory failure in November.

He and his family were told that things didn't look good: "They're the words you're not expecting to hear."

He had to stop eating and drinking for 40 days and was fed through a tube in his stomach. During this time, he lost about 30 kg in weight.

Incredibly he recovered, and is now almost seven years in remission.

Despite the ordeal, he says he wouldn't change anything: "I am where I am now because of it. When I pulled through it, I got a new lease of life."

Andrew set up a new business, Ocean Escapes, in 2015 and is now enjoying life without worrying too much about the future.

"I try not to dwell on it too much. We're here for a good time, not a long time. I think we've just got to enjoy every day while we have it, appreciate the small things that we have and make the most of it."

There are still a few tickets left for our National Day of Dancing on Tuesday 30 April. Click here for details on how to apply.

How I Survived A Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

00:00:00 / 00:00:00


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Andrew O'Riordan Cancer Dare To Care

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