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TUS Lecturer and Students create and design “Positive Reflection Cards for Cancer Survivors”

At the launch of the Positive Reflection Cards for Cancer Survivors cards
L to R: Fiona Crotty, Tipperary County Council; Gráinne Hedont, CARE Cancer Support Centre Clonmel; Dr. Marie Walsh TUS; Catriona Crowe, Tipperary County Council; Geraldine Moloney, Health Promotion Officer; and Cliona Tobin, Tipperary County Council

Students at the Technological University of the Shannon Clonmel Campus have designed a deck of “Positive Reflection Cards for Cancer Survivors” – the first of its kind in Ireland.

The cards, the brainchild of TUS Digital Arts & Media Department researcher and lecturer Dr Marie Walsh and funded by the Department of Health’s Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, were launched at the at Clonmel Aftercare Relaxation and Education (CARE) this autumn.

Dr Walsh, whose doctorate research looked at how Irish female cancer survivors experience Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) said, “One of the questions I asked each of the 67 women I interviewed as part of my study was ‘What is the best advice you would give someone if they were diagnosed with cancer?’. The participants then shared fabulous pieces of wisdom about what helped them recover. And so, the next question was. how can this brilliant advice be shared?

“This beautiful deck of 32 cards is designed especially for survivors and their families – each card with a piece of wisdom, a quote from someone who has been there to help them in their recovery. Some of the cards speak of the importance of relationships – I think positively and surround myself with positive people. Others highlight the importance of living in the moment – I walk the mountain and appreciate the trees, now I even hug them. You can pick a card as a thought for the day or the week.”

Dr Walsh added, “In Ireland, someone is diagnosed with cancer every 10 minutes. With early detection and better treatment, the good news is that more and more people can and in fact do recover and go on to live full lives. For many, an important part of their recovery is the help and support they receive from Cancer Support Centre’s and other Cancer Survivors.”

The cards were the creative output of an eight-month project which included Dr Walsh meetings with groups from CARE Clonmel and Circle of Friends in Tipperary Town to share over 100 quotes/words of wisdom from the research. They were asked to choose the ones that meant the most to them and to add new ones.

TUS students Eddie Evergreen and David Power then took on the task of illustrating the quotes guided by TUS Lecturer and visual artist Craig Mullins.

The cards are available at CARE Clonmel – 052 6182667 or or Circle of Friends in Tipperary Town, 062 33550 or