Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Daniel O'Donnell hopeful for Majella as she begins gruelling breast cancer treatment

Daniel O'Donnell with his wife Majella
Daniel O'Donnell with his wife Majella

Singer Daniel O'Donnell is hopeful everything will be OK for his wife Majella in six months as she battles breast cancer.

She is to undergo a course of chemotherapy next month after having a successful procedure to have a lump removed.

The couple are remaining positive. "You do think the worst initially but then you have to start focussing on the positive," O'Donnell said.

"The initial thing was the shock of hearing she had cancer, but then you're reassured by the doctors, they go through it and said this is very treatable."

"I suppose in six months' time everything will be okay. Her discovery of the lump was very early and the diagnosis was very quick and the action taken was very quick.

"We had a great team of people who were dealing with her, and are still dealing with her, so we're delighted with the way she was treated. It was in the public system here in Dublin."

And, he hopes going public about Majella's battle with cancer will encourage other women to get tested.

"I think it's very important. Majella was lucky that she discovered it herself, and no matter who we are -- men, woman, whoever -- it's better to go on a fool's errand than wait too long."

The 51-year-old star was talking at Ireland's Deaf and Hard of Hearing 'Heroes' Awards.

The singer said hearing aids had greatly benefitted his mother Julia (93).

"It gave her great comfort to be able to hear properly again. And I've seen first-hand the benefit of it. I think people are reluctant to give in that you need a hearing aid," he said.

Daniel flies to the US today for the latest leg of his tour and will be away when Majella starts her treatment. "She discovered last week she would be receiving chemotherapy and that's starting on September 12 and she'll have four sessions of that," he said.

"It is difficult knowing she's starting the treatment without me -- absolutely. But we talked about this and she wanted me to continue doing the shows and her mother is staying with her."

Daniel also said Majella would shave her hair ahead of treatment.

"She decided she is going to take charge of her hair going. It's very short now and her next step after she has her first treatment is going to get it all off."

The star said earlier reports that 53-year-old Majella was clear of cancer were incorrect, adding that he meant the surgery had removed the cancer but there was still a possibility she would need more treatment.

O'Donnell added that the support of fans had been hugely helpful. "I've been so grateful for the support of my fans."

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