After breast cancer, Claire knows just how precious life is

September 23rd, 2021 11:45 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Bantry woman Claire Hayden with her sons Cian and Michael at the launch of the Great Pink Run in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland. Along with her husband, they will run 5km.

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BANTRY woman Claire Hayden has released a song and a music video in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland.

As a Breast Cancer Ireland patient supporter and a Great Pink Run ambassador, Claire has become a source of inspiration for many people following her diagnosis with breast cancer on September 8th 2020.

Interviews with Ryan Tubridy have endeared her to thousands of people who admire her fortitude, her outlook, and her singing voice.

Claire (39) has also struck up an incredible friendship with Imelda May. The Irish singer has, in fact, asked Claire to be a guest at one of her May 2022 tour dates in Dublin.

Claire’s song Piece by Piece has been released in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

In its first week alone, the video was viewed over 40,000 times and Claire is getting hundreds of messages from people going through cancer – people who are starting out, people who have long recovered, and members of families who have lost a loved one.

Following the incredible success of last year’s virtual event, which raised almost €1m for breast cancer research, Claire attended the launch of this year’s Great Pink Run, which will take place over the weekend of October 16th and 17th.

Participants are being encouraged to run, walk or jog the circumference of the globe – which is 40,700km – over the course of that weekend.

Each participant can help achieve this incredible goal by registering for the event and logging their distance.

Claire will be doing the 5km with her husband Steven and their two boys, Cian and Michael.

Claire spoke about the last 12 months. ‘My treatment was all very fast – the mastectomy and the chemotherapy,’ she said. ‘It has been a whirlwind of a year. I’m doing well and that’s the main thing and I’m looking forward to brighter days ahead. For people who are starting out, it might feel like they have a mountain to climb – because of the appointments and the fear that comes with the treatment plan – but I’d like to give people hope that they can get through this.

‘That’s essentially the theme of my song. I hope it resonates with people. It’s about one day being a warrior and another being weak and how some days I feel like a jigsaw puzzle where I am losing myself piece by piece.

‘The song – which was recorded compliments of Brian Casey of Wavefield Recording Studio in Clonakilty and kindly videoed by AV3 Media in Cork – goes full circle,’ said Claire, ‘because the final line is that I have found myself piece by piece.’

Claire, who works as an SNA at Coomhola National School, said she now feels stronger than ever before.

‘Things that took up head space before are gone. I now have such clarity about what is important. I am grateful for every day I’m healthy. I now know how precious life is.’

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