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Photographer donates painting to Cancer Connect to say ‘thank you'

August 24th, 2017 5:10 PM

By Jackie Keogh

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A BEARA artist who beat cancer has donated one of his paintings to raise money for a charity that helped him through the illness. 

John Eagle's painting called Gathering the Flock, was auctioned at Beara Arts Festival's Artists in Beara exhibition with all funds raised going to Cancer Connect – a free service that provides transport to and from Cork hospitals for people around the county requiring radiotherapy or chemotherapy. 

Founded in 2011, it has arranged over 11,500 passenger journeys to date.

John, who was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in October of last year, said: ‘It was a pretty scary experience, but the doctors had told me that I would, with treatment, survive it.'

He faced several months of gruelling treatment that required at least a dozen trips to Cork for chemotherapy and a 12-hour operation to remove the tumour in March.

‘I dreaded driving up and down to Cork – it's a two-hour trip each way – but a neighbour who'd survived cancer advised me to contact Cancer Connect, who arrange drivers for cancer patients getting treatment in the city.

 ‘Every three weeks, I had to go to Cork University Hospital for the injections. It's a drive of 90-odd miles from Beara. 

‘Daunting you might think, but there's great help for cancer patients like myself. 

‘I can't praise enough the local volunteers who drove me,' he said. ‘Sometimes I'd only be an hour in hospital, but other times, my driver might have to wait eight hours in the city before I'd be ready to come home.' John got the all-clear from cancer in June and said he felt that donating a painting was the best way to say ‘thank you' to Cancer Connect.

Beara Arts Festival's artistic director Marc O'Sullivan Vallig thanked John for his generosity. He said: ‘John has always been a big part of the arts scene in Beara and beyond. He's come through a rough year with flying colours. We're all delighted to see him back in action.' 

John Eagle's oil painting was won by Mary Barry O'Sullivan and the raffle raised €615 for Cancer Connect.

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