Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Niamh goes the extra mile for cancer charity

Niamh McDaid (24) is somebody who spends Monday to Friday on the front line in the ongoing battle against cancer. One of Cancer Focus's cancer prevention officers, Niamh visits children in primary schools, explaining the need for a healthy diet and pointing out the risks of smoking.

As she says, cancer prevention is about promoting a healthy lifestyle.

"We use smoke busters with P6 and P7 groups as children start smoking young and if you get the habit early, it's easy to continue into adult life.

"We even go to nursery schools and use Genevieve the goat, a lifestyle model, who eats all her fruit and veg and is happy! The children in P1 and P2 love her and it makes healthy eating fun," she says.

Away from work, Niamh continues to lend her support to Cancer Focus and this year is taking part in the Belfast Marathon for the first time.

As May 6 approaches, she admits to feeling a little apprehensive. "I'm definitely a little nervous as it starts to seem more real. But I've been training and have covered up to 15 miles. I've also just done the Omagh half-marathon," she explains.

Involved in athletics for as long as she can remember, Niamh, who lives in Belfast, has the help of boyfriend James who goes training with her. But whenever this committed young woman starts to flag, she only has to remember the people affected by this contemporary scourge to redouble her efforts.

"I see lots of families in and out of the Cancer Focus offices and this is what I'm doing it for, the people affected by cancer.

"It's been wonderful having James's help – he's an athlete, too, and knows what it's like. But he can't run with me as he's too fast. I hope to raise as much money as possible, maybe a thousand or two," Niamh adds.

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