Lucan physio is rewarded for her groundbreaking innovation

by Padraig Conlon

A physiotherapist from Lucan whose groundbreaking work helps patients get fit after difficult cancer treatments was a winner at the recent Irish Cancer Society (ICS) Research Awards.

Dr Grainne Sheill, who is a chartered physiotherapist at St James’s Hospital, has focused her research on helping patients with complex and advanced forms of cancer to recover physically after their cancer has been treated.

She has become an established leader in this area – known as exercise oncology – which is of ever-increasing importance as more people survive cancer in line with improvements to cancer treatments.

Dr Sheill has collaborated with international experts on several novel research projects as part of her PhD and post-doctoral fellowship with Trinity College Dublin, with the aim of bringing about advances in rehabilitation for patients.

She came through a competitive field of candidates to be chosen as the winner of the Irish Cancer Society Postdoctoral Researcher of the Year for 2020 at the annual awards showcase held in Smithfield last Thursday, February 20.

Speaking about her award, Dr Sheill said: “The need to explore ways to enable survivors to live in the aftermath of intensive therapies, which often cause profound changes to their bodies, and to improve their lives, is a major healthcare challenge.

“We see people after surgery who are afraid to go back to doing their day-to-day activities and the things they love.

“This award acknowledges that there is still work to be done, but that we’ve made a good start.

“There are projects under way that need to be expanded and broadened so that more patients have access to the supports they need,” she said.

The ICS is appealing to the public to support Daffodil Day 2020, supported by Boots Ireland, on Friday, May 27. For further information, see www.Cancer.ie/DaffodilDay.

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