An Inis Oírr based singer and songwriter, who was forced to spend the money she had originally saved to make an album on cancer treatment, is attempting to raise funds to finish the project. Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was five months pregnant at the age of 39. At the time, the singer was in the process of putting together her third album.
Lasairfhíona opted to postpone her cancer treatment until after pregnancy as she was afraid chemotherapy would mean she would be too ill to look after her newborn baby. “Doctors wanted to start me on chemo while I was pregnant, but we weren’t comfortable with that. We did some research on it. I wanted to be able to enjoy being a mother and give myself time. I was thinking that if I did chemo, that I wouldn’t have time for the baby, because I’d be sick or tired. It’s not an easy decision for any woman to make, but I said I’d wait. I took very good care of myself. I stopped eating meat and dairy, and I took a lot of vitamins and did mediation. Thankfully, my daughter was born safe and well.”
After her daughter was born, Lasairfhíona decided to undergo treatment. “I was afraid to do it, but I did a lot of additional things. I took intravenous vitamin C, and as mentioned, I’d previously stopped eating meat and dairy because they are hard on the body. The doctors were very happy with my progress, and scans showed that everything was going the right way. The lump is gone now, something which is very unusual and it meant I didn’t need to get a mastectomy or lumpectomy.”
The singer is very thankful to be healthy again and is anxious to get back to making music. Her first two albums, An Raicín Álainn and Flame of Wine were released independently and generated a favourable response in Ireland and abroad. She has performed in prestigious venues like the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Town Hall Theatre, Galway and The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
Lasairfhíona was inspired to try to raise the funds needed through Fundit.ie “The songs I recorded for this album mean so much to me. If my campaign is successful, I will get to finally complete my album with a summer release in 2016. While I was healing, the thought that I would finish the album kept me going. I think music is very important for the mind. There’s something very special in music and I wrote and sang songs while I was healing. I was afraid at one stage that I might not be able to sing again, but thank God I can.”
The fundit campaign runs until April 27, and for more details visit http://fundit.ie/project/new-album-from-aran-singer-lasairfhona.