Wicklow author says ‘no make-up selfies’ save lives

Wicklow author Emma Hannigan, who is battling cancer for the ninth time, is receiving widespread acclaim after posting her own version of the ‘no make-up selfie’ to her blog.

Ms Hannigan's selfie taken from her treatment table.

Ms Hannigan’s selfie taken from her treatment table.

On Friday, Ms Hannigan took her own ‘selfie’ as she lay on a radiation table wearing a radiation mask during one of her treatments. The mask is designed to keep her head and neck still so the lasers can directly hit the cancer during treatment.

The social media craze involves women posting make-up free ‘selfies’ on their social media page while donating €4 to the Irish Cancer Society by texting Pink to 50300.

It began on Wednesday night and has raised over €650,000 so far.

The ‘no make-up selfie’ has received criticism in some corners and that has prompted Ms Hannigan to speak out in favour of the campaign.

“This campaign is hurting nobody. It’s not dangerous, illegal or nasty. It has promoted widespread discussion about breast cancer, which is a good thing. The cancer charities are receiving much-needed funds. Surely that has to be positive too?

“Having battled breast cancer so many times (I’m currently waging my ninth war against the disease) I feel I’m qualified to speak from a patients perspective,” she said.

Another view of Ms Hannigan's radiation mask

Another view of Ms Hannigan’s radiation mask

“If you have posted a no makeup selfie I applaud you all and thank you for helping to keep me and other breast cancer vixens alive.

“I’ve no doubt the no makeup selfie idea will continue to divide opinion and that’s OK. Of course we are all entitled to our opinions. But the way is see it is this: I for one feel incredibly grateful for this intense wave of camaraderie and all I see is an expression of sisterhood and support. From where I’m sitting that’s damn powerful. That’s girl power and hurray for it!”

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