St. Joseph’s GAA Club in Kilteevan is one of about 50 GAA clubs nationwide which is supporting the HPV vaccine jersey initiative which was launched by the family of the late Laura Brennan.
Laura died on 20th March 2019 from cervical cancer caused by HPV (the human papillomavirus). She appeared on ‘The Late Late Show’ to discuss her diagnosis. The Clare native spent the last 18 months of her life campaigning to improve uptake rates of the HPV vaccine, which could have prevented her cancer from developing.
Laura approached the HSE in 2017 after receiving a terminal diagnosis. There has been an almost 20 per cent increase in the uptake of the vaccine after her work in promoting it.
After Laura’s death, her brother Kevin was approached by Clare GAA with an offer of support, to help honour Laura’s legacy and improve the uptake of the vaccine. He asked them to wear the HPV vaccine logo on their jerseys.
Kevin went on social media and asked his community for support. Within a week there were over 40 clubs on board and that number is growing by the day and now includes St. Joseph’s GAA Club in Roscommon.
Former Roscommon manager Kevin McStay took to social media with a powerful video with his three daughters urging parents of first year boys and girls in secondary school to get the vaccination.
To encourage clubs outside of Clare to get involved, past and current GAA stars including Kieran Donaghy, Anthony Daly and Eddie Brennan came on board.
First-year boys in secondary school will be offered the HPV vaccine for the first time, which helps protect people against a variety of cancers. Girls have been offered the vaccine since 2010.
For more information visit www.hpv.ie.