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Dublin cancer survivor tucks into first spice bag after year-long fundraiser for charity

Every year, Ciarán Kendrick (28), from Dublin 7, gives up something he loves to raise awareness and funds for the Irish Cancer Society

Cancer survivor Ciarán Kendrick is doing something a little bit different to raise money

Amy DonohoeIndependent.ie

A Dubliner who gave up takeaways for a full year to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society, tucked into a spice bag to ring in the New Year.

Every year, Ciarán Kendrick (28), from Dublin 7, gives up something he loves to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Last year, he successfully ditched the spice bags, doner kebabs, and his beloved pizza. This year, he’s giving up chocolate.

“I was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when I was 24,” he said.

“I was living in Germany at the time, so went through the German system to get surgery, then came home and spent six months in chemotherapy.

“After that experience, I wanted to give something back to the Irish Cancer Society. They were supportive and offered me free counselling and all that kind of stuff.

“So, I thought, what is something that would benefit my personal health and show enough willpower to raise a bit of money for a fundraiser?

“I love my takeaways, and it was tough not going down the easy route of getting a McDonald’s. If we got back from a night out, I’d have to sit and watch my friends enjoy a takeaway.

“I got on with it and focused on my nutrition. I’m not really feeling them anymore, you don’t realise how much money you’re saving too until you stop getting them for a bit.

“There was one particularly big wrinkle. My grandfather left me some money when he passed and I really wanted to spend it on the takeaway he used to get for us from a chipper nearby.

“So I had to wait to do that, and we finally did it last week. It was a nice way to say goodbye to him.

“On New Year’s Eve I decided to order a space bag from Jumbo Wok in Kimmage. I used to go there all the time.

“I did the obligatory ‘Happy New Year’ hugs and then poured out the food at one minute past midnight. I only ate half of it, my body wasn’t used to it, it felt like a lot.”

Ciáran after his biopsy surgery

Instead of the common 5k runs and coffee mornings, Ciarán, who considers himself “ one of the lucky ones”, initially decided to give up something for 365 days to get €365 from his housemate back in 2020.

“I would’ve drank a good bit of coke and my housemate bet me that I couldn’t ditch soft drinks for 2021,” he said.

“I said I would if he paid me a certain amount of money and I’d give it to the Irish Cancer Society. It spiralled from there.”

After giving up soft drinks in 2021 and takeaways in 2022, Ciáran is spending his 2023 without chocolate.

“I love a Galaxy or a Yorkie, and even share bags of Maltesers and Milky Stars. There’s still chocolate around the apartment from Christmas, so it’s a bit more difficult, it’s everywhere.

“But I’m putting my mind to it and getting used to it,” he added.

You can find Ciarán’s fundraiser here.


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