COURAGE: Orlaith Monks from Ross Road, who now lives in Beaufort, will take part in the Models for Recovery fundraiser for the very first time next Wednesday night. Photo: Michelle Crean


By Michelle Crean

It’ll be an emotional night for Killarney lady Orlaith Monks, who, after overcoming breast cancer, plans to bravely take to the catwalk next Wednesday night.

The 51-year-old, who is originally from Ross Road and now lives in Beaufort, now hopes to help raise funds and awareness for the sixth annual ‘Models in Recovery Fashion Show’.

Orlaith, who courageously had a double mastectomy, will be amongst approximately 20 others who have fought cancer, in the INEC on Wednesday next for the Killarney branch of the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

And, although Orlaith says she’s used to the stage following shows with Killarney Musical Society, she admitted it will be an emotional rollercoaster on the night.

“It will be very emotional for me, I never in a million years thought I’d be on the stage as a cancer survivor,” Orlaith told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’m not nervous. I’m doing it for those who can’t do it.”

Feeling off for many years Orlaith decided to visit her doctor to discuss HRT treatment for the menopause. However, in order to take the prescription she was advised to get a mammogram, but was called back a week later as the result wasn’t clear.

Not worried about anything sinister, Orlaigh, a mother of three, went back and was told that she had a lump and that it was HER2 Negative breast cancer.

After many tests and biopsies, Orlaith took the brave step and decided to have both breasts removed and was relieved to hear that she didn’t need any chemotherapy treatment afterwards.

“I felt liberated,” she said. “They don’t define me, I’m still the same person I was two years ago. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I wasn’t doing it for myself, I did it for my family. I feel very lucky that I dodged a bullet. I wasn’t one for checking myself but I’d say to anyone to check yourself.”