St Muredach’s College in Ballina welcomed back one of their own last week as former Mayo football captain, Ronan McGarrity, returned to the college.
Ronan spoke to all the students regarding his personal battle with testicular cancer and the importance of early detection. This was the culmination of a month-long campaign in St Muredach’s, to raise awareness of men’s health issues. As the primary educator in the broadest sense, of young men in Ballina, the college felt a duty to drive this initiative in town. Thirteen of the male staff grew moustaches for the month as part of the worldwide Movember campaign to raise money for The Irish Cancer Society. Of equal importance was the awareness raised amongst the boys in the college of taking care of their health. The total amount of money raised by staff is approaching the €1,600 mark, a great achievement in the current economic climate.
Ronan bravely told the boys of the shock he felt when he first discovered his cancer and the relief he now feels given that he had the courage to face it and seek help.
“If you feel a lump, it won’t go away by itself. Talk to Mam or Dad and get down to see your doctor. Don’t wait to think it over!” he told them.
His story allayed any fears of embarrassment that students may have felt regarding the issue of testicular cancer and certainly made a difference to their outlook and awareness. The college is extremely grateful to Ronan for giving his time, and to its staff for raising such awareness and funds.