New cancer research charity founded in memory of Tuam woman

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galway daily news charlotte's vision chairty launch in galway
At the launch of Charlotte's Vision in the Ard Rí House Hotel was Charlotte's family Helen, Declan and Virgie Sweeney and Denise Seward

A new charity has been launched by the friends and family of a young woman from Tuam who died last year from metastatic breast cancer.

Charlotte Sweeney passed away just before her 42nd birthday after the cancer in her breast spread to her liver.

Her friends and family wanted to provide more hope for other patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer decided to set up a new charity called Charlotte’s Vision.

The journey to setting up any charity is not easy, so they sought the support of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) based in University Hospital Galway.

Close friend and chairperson of Charlotte’s Vision, Caroline Downey explained that when Charlotte was diagnosed, she had no idea what metastatic cancer.

To Caroline, breast cancer was breast cancer, and they just needed to keep praying and hoping that she would get better.

“Unfortunately for Charlotte her breast cancer had spread to her liver, this is secondary cancer and currently there is no cure,” said Caroline.

galway daily news charlotte's vision charity launch
Caroline Downey, Virgie Sweeney and Johanna Downes, NBCRI at the launch of Charlotte’s Vision

“It is about keeping the person alive for as long as possible. After she died, I approached NBCRI in the hope that we could create a charity that would specifically look at research for metastatic breast.”

Caroline said that thankfully Prof Michael Kearns and chairperson of NBCRI Caroline Loughnane were delighted with the initiative and allowed them to be part of their charity.

“This means that all our funds raised will go to metastatic research,” she said.

“Charlotte’s Vision is governed by NBCRI. This is a massive achievement to be part of such an amazing charity that already does such great work in the fight against breast cancer.

“We are so proud to be associated with NBCRI as well as having the opportunity to see the work Prof. Kearns and his team carry out on a daily basis.”

Charlotte’s mum Virigie said that as a family, they are devastated at the loss of Charlotte.

“She was an extraordinary person who was herself a scientist. She would be so happy to know that we are going to be raising funds for metastatic breast cancer research,” said Virigie.

“We lost Charlotte and we want to try and prevent other families from losing their loved ones. NBCRI have been so great and we look forward to working with them to raise as much as possible to help with their ongoing research.

“We are fortunate to have Caroline Downey from Carried Away PR as our chairperson. She was one of Charlotte’s best friends and to have her knowledge and advice free of charge is just brilliant.

“Charlotte has a core group of friends who are now known as Char’s Tribe and they are all part of the charity giving their time, support and knowledge free of charge. All proceeds from every event will go directly to metastatic research.”

Johanna Downes, fundraiser for NBCRI, said at the launch of Charlotte’s Vision that she was lucky enough to meet Charlotte, and that she was a fabulous person.

She said that what her friends and family are doing in her name is just brilliant.

“I have been part of NBCRI for many years, I have seen where the monies raised go and I know it is making a difference. But we need to continue this as more research is needed.

“Charlotte’s Vision is really going to highlight the need for research in metastatic breast cancer.”

The first Charlotte’s Vision event will be a New Year’s Eve ball in the Ard Rí House Hotel on 31 December.

The inaugural ball will be the first of many events in 2023.

Tickets are available at the Ard Rí, for more information on the ball and Charlotte’s Vision you can see all the latest updates on their Facebook page or call Caroline on 087 4482070.