THE Funeral has taken place of Belfast woman Uná Crudden, who led a high-profile campaign to encourage more women to undergo early screening for ovarian cancer before dying from the disease at the age of 60.
Requiem Mass was held in The Church of The Nativity, Poleglass. View the Funeral Arrangements for Uná Crudden.
Many of the mourners wore items of teal-coloured clothing. This was the colour which Uná had used during her campaigning.
Father Pat Sheehan told mourners: “Cancer revealed what an extraordinary person Uná was. She didn’t set out to set up campaigns, she just wanted to help other people from her own experience.”
Fr. Sheehan added: “It wasn’t just her voice that she wanted to be heard, her voice was for all those who suffered from ovarian cancer, and all cancers.”
A moving message from Mrs. Crudden to her family was included in the Order of Service. In the message, the mother and grandmother thanked her family for their love and support. She told them: “I wish I could spend more time with you but it was not meant to be. But just to let you know, you all mean the world to me. You wee the meaning of my life and the force that drove me on. In bad times and in good times you helped me remain strong.”
As well as raising awareness of the disease, Mrs. Crudden had carried out a tireless fundraising campaign for the Northern Ireland Hospice. Her efforts included posting a moving video on Youtube (see below).
Mrs. Crudden, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago, had also used social media sites Twitter and Facebook to encourage women to be more aware of the early symptoms of the disease.
She had also been vocal in challenging local politicians to use their influence to ensure that cancer drugs which are available in other parts of the U.K. were also readily available to patients in Northern Ireland.
Many warm tributes were paid to the mother of five who lived in Poleglass..
Health minister Jim Wells said: “Uná was a brave and very remarkable woman”.
SDLP health spokesman, Fearghal McKinney also paid tribute. He said: “I was deeply saddened and upset to learn of Uná’s death. She was a tremendously brave woman and campaigner.”
The MLA also said his party would continue to fight for equal access to cancer drugs. He added: “Uná’s legacy is a new, lasting and sincere focus on action that we can all take to help those affected by cancer. We all owe her a great debt for that”.
Donations in lieu of flowers were requested for the N.I. Hospice at Uná’s Just Giving page.
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