Vicky Phelan is a hero. There is no doubt about that.
What she has done for the women of Ireland, at a time when she would have been well within her rights to put herself and her own health first, can never be acknowledged enough. She has, and will continue to, save lives.
Over the past 6 months, Vicky has become a household name, but to many of us, she is, above all else, our friend. I have worked with Vicky for 7 years. We are a team of fierce, strong and capable women. We have supported each other through many of life’s challenges. We have laughed, cried, hugged, bitched, learned and eaten copious amounts of cake together. We are all tough, but she is by far the toughest.
Last night, we celebrated with Vicky as she celebrated some really good news on the health front. Cancer is a bad bitch, but it hadn’t bargained on this challenge!
Here are 5 life lessons I have learned from Vicky over the years:
- Overcoming adversity can break you if you let it, or it can shape you into someone with amazing depth, resilience, empathy and appreciation for the little things in life.No matter how dark the day is, there is always love and light to be found. Focusing on that will get you through anything.
- Always be your own champion. Never wait for someone to swoop in and save you. Sometimes you have to save yourself. When others have given up hope, stand up and fight.
- Don’t be afraid to question authority. We are brought up to believe what the “experts” say. Believe your gut, always. Challenge them, and then if you’re still not happy, get a second, third, fourth or fifth opinion. Especially, if they are making decisions that affect your life and your future. Never apologise.
- There is nothing in life more important than friends and family. When you are facing your darkest hour, the people closest to you are all that matters. Let them know you love them.
- GET A SMEAR TEST!! Don’t ignore symptoms, get checked. It could save your life.
Vicky, you’ve got this. And we’ve got you. Long may you reign 👸👸👸👸👸