RDC Dancers Unite Against Cancer in Giving For Living

By Seamus Whelehan


Midleton’s RDC put their best foot forward on Friday last 24 May at Market Green Shopping Centre, for four Cork cancer charities.  Nearly 40 troupe members of all ages danced in sync to raise funds for the 2019 96FM Giving for Living Radiothon.

8 Year old Ava Wallace from Mogeely was on board to help raise awareness of childhood cancer and support Cork’s favourite charity event.    Ava’s father, Maurice, said he was glad to support the annual event when a chance listening to a radio interview with Billie Jean Sargent prompted the family to have their daughter checked.

Rhythm Dance Company owner Billiejean Sargent’s daughter, Nell, was just 3 when she was first diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in 2007.    “Listening to Billie Jean on the radio six and a half years ago about Nell, Ava had the same symptoms. We knew something was up. We pushed for an MRI and they told us she had a tumour behind the eye.”

“They said it was the good type that wasn’t cancerous, but it’s in a difficult position wrapped around the optic nerve and they can’t operate. Her eyesight is pretty poor but everything is pretty stable and, once we hear the word stable, that’s good news to us.” said Mr Wallace.

After almost two years of chemotherapy Ava had a reaction and was taken off the treatment.   In January 2018, after many years battling her cancer diagnosis, Nell was given the news her tumour had shrunk.

Speaking at the RDC event on Friday Maurice Wallace said his family is delighted to be involved in the annual fundraiser as they can see first-hand the difference which the money makes for cancer services.  Last week’s 3 day event raised a staggering €440,451 bringing the cumulative figure to over €5 million over 12 years for cancer services in Cork.