'delighted' | 

Cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan and Charlie Bird share touching Twitter exchange

"We have a lot in common...unfortunately!"
Clodagh Meaney

CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan has shared a touching Twitter exchange with former broadcaster Charlie Bird.

The 72-year-old revealed in November that he had been diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.

Taking to Twitter, the veteran RTE journalist shared his wish to chat to his “hero”, 47-year-old Vicky Phelan.

“I would love to talk to one of my heroes Vicky Phelan…what she said this weekend was most interesting,” he shared.

It comes as Vicky appealed to the government to allow terminally ill people, such as herself, to be able to die with medical assistance if they so wished.

The mother of two responded to Charlie, and said she would be “delighted” to speak with him.

“Ahhhh Charlie, sure I would only be delighted to chat to you. We have a lot in common...unfortunately! I will DM you with my details,” she said.

End of Life Ireland shared sentiments with the pair also: “All love to you and Vicky, Charlie, you're both in everybody's hearts,” they said.

Vicky Phelan

Vicky Phelan

“Thank you so very much to all at @EndOfLifeIE for thinking of me and @charliebird49 and for ALL the work you are doing to campaign for the right to die for ppl like Charlie and I,” Vicky replied to the advocacy group.

Charlie told his Twitter followers in September that he wasn’t well, saying: “Declined two radio interviews today on Don Tidey kidnap and shoot out which I reported on at the time.”

“Why - over the past four months I’ve had major issues with my speech. Despite series of tests I still don’t know what is going on,” he added

A month later he revealed his Motor Neuron Disease diagnosis.

“Recently I spoke about issues with my voice. I now know why. I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Thanks to all my pals for their amazing support. And the kindness from so many people,” he tweeted.

Vicky Phelan, who was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer, spoke over the weekend at the launch of a campaign in support of voluntary assisted death, and pushed for politicians to work on legislation to give people with terminal illness the option to choose how they die.

"It’s about choice. We choose what way we want to live — when to have children, when to get married. Why should you not be able to choose what way you want to die, particularly in a situation like mine?" she told the Sunday Times.

“Nobody’s allowed to give you a magic injection to make you go any faster and I don’t want to be lingering for my kids," she said.

“Just because you believe something for your own reasons, whether they’re religious or other, you shouldn’t be imposing your beliefs on somebody else.”

She previously received public backing for the recent Dying with Dignity Bill. However, after the bill was criticised by medical professionals, progress stalled.

It was recommended by the Joint Committee of Justice to establish a Special Oireachtas Committee to examine the topic further.

In a previous interview, Charlie said that Vicky gave him courage.

“She is a remarkable human being, in a way she gives me a lift, courage.”

Vicky, who decided to come off chemotherapy in order to enjoy her final Christmas with her children and family has been outspoken about her decision and her plans for the end of her life.

Appearing on the Late Late Show on November 19, she told Ryan Tubridy about her wish to spend one last Christmas making memories with her children.

"I'd rather be well and have a shorter time frame. I'd like my children to have memories of doing stuff with me and if I die sooner, so be it."


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