DICK and Jessie Griffin held a triple anniversary celebration in Bulgaden Castle but didn’t get one present.
The Bruree couple marked both of them turning 60 and their 30th wedding anniversary with a party.
But instead of accepting presents they asked the over 200 to give a donation to breast cancer facilities in the Regional.
The fantastic sum of €3,800 was raised from one night. In total Jessie has collected over €70,000.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. I said if I was alive a year after I was diagnosed I would start raising money,” said Jessie. She has been good to her word.
This isn’t the first time she has been featured in the Leader. While she was battling cancer her mother, Alice, was also diagnosed.
“She was 82 and I was 49 at the time,” said Jessie. They were also asked to go on RTE.
But, like mother like daughter, they both beat it.
Alice lived for another nine yeas until 2010 and thousands were raised from her 90th birthday too.
“She was fantastic. She was so strong,” said Jessie.
However, her own cancer came back in 2005 but again Jessie defeated it after months of treatment. Now she says she is absolutely fine. But to help the countless other women battling the disease Jessie hasn’t given up the pledge she made in 2001.
“Myself and Mildred O’Dea, she is my partner in all this, we have run dances, fundraisers and raffles down through the years,” said Jessie.
The total figure is now over €70,000. Breast cancer facilities in St John’s, Regional, St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin have all benefitted from her efforts.
“I’ve got fantastic treatment from all the doctors and nurses and all the staff.
“And I would like to thank everyone who has supported the dances in Bruree and surrounding parishes,” said Jessie, who is the activities co-ordinator in Beech Lodge Care Facility in Bruree.
Always one to get the crowd going, Jessie had the over 200 clapping and singing along to a three piece jazz band in Bulgaden.
The Griffins are talented singers and her son, David, brought the house down with You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves you.
That has always been Jessie’s motto - be positive.
“I always did my best to look forward and get on with it,” she said.
A nurse from the cancer department in the Regional even stood up and thanked her for all of her work.
The Griffins may have returned home to Bruree that night with no presents in their car, but safe in the knowledge they have helped other cancer patients on their journey to beat the disease.