Circle of Friends leader to represent Tipp in Boston


Circle of Friends leader to represent Tipp in Boston
ByCaitriona Kenny

Jennifer Jones Hickey, Founder of Circle of Friends Cancer Support Centre in Tipperary town was honoured to receive an invite to The One Hundred, Everyday Amazing Gala dinner in Boston.

The One Hundred is created and supported by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, to promote awareness and fundraising initiative that celebrates hope in the cancer community. Each year they honor 100 everyday amazing individuals and groups such as caregivers, researchers, philanthropists, advocates and volunteers from around the globe, whose commitment to the fight against cancer inspires us all to take action. Honorees are selected through a public nomination process and celebrated at a spring gala in Boston.

Jennifer was nominated by her Aunt Frances Howley. “My Aunt Frances read the words she wrote about me in the application and it was so heartfelt and so kind… it was unbelievable to even be selected but the fact that I was well enough to travel to represent Circle of Friends is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.,” said Jennifer.

“This initiative transcends any one constitution or organization. It is about the cancer community at large and the knowledge that everyone has the power to make a meaningful difference in the fight against this disease. This could be by discovering new treatments for cancer or hand-making miniature stars out of colourful fabrics and giving them to patients. A lady called Sally O'Shea was one of the many touching stories I heard at the Gala dinner. She created the Magic Yarn Project that transforms little girls undergoing cancer treatment in to Disney-inspired princesses, with wigs woven out of luxuriously long strands of yarn for young patients ages 2-10 with flowing hairstyles of animated characters such as Ariel or Rapunzel. This is just a few of the 100 amazing stories how some people touch the lives of others in a beautiful way, so for me to sit with these other people for just one night and be acknowledged amongst them for setting up Circle of Friends Cancer support Centre in Tipperary was a very proud moment. The compassion and dedication people can have is just astounding.”

There were 2000 people at the Gala Dinner at the Waterfront Hotel in Boston. Throughout the night there were speakers and video stories including Dr Jill Biden, the Vice Presidents wife. “I had never heard of this type of event before and it was even more special when I was told I was the first person to have ever been selected from Ireland,” said Jennifer. “Boston has such a massive Irish community so everyone was very excited to meet the two women from Ireland, the whole evening was emotional from start to finish and out of the 100 selectees it was wonderful to be mentioned by Dr Daniel Haber Director of Mass General Cancer Centre in Boston, It was a moment I will never forget. It made me realise that any act big or small can have a profound affect on peoples lives and it really shows how the power of a community can create health and happiness far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital,” added Jennifer.

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