Westlife member Shane Filan will lead the Relay for Life in the Aviva Stadium this September for the Irish Cancer Society.
Taking place on September 29th, participants can run, walk or spectate the relay in the stadium to raise money for the charity.
Speaking on Lunchtime Live, Mr Filan said the relay will be a “beautiful event”.
“It's about creating awareness for the rest of the country... over the next number years, we hope to have one in every county,” he said.
'It's very difficult for anyone to deal with'
He said the opportunity to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society is particularly important to him as he lost both his parents to cancer within nine months.
“My mom had lung cancer for four years passed away in 2019,” Mr Filan explained. “My dad had pancreatic cancer passed away nine months later.
“It was obviously a very difficult time for me and my family – it's very difficult to deal with anyone having cancer, it’s a very scary place.
Mr Filan said the support the charity offers inspired him to support them in return.
“The Irish Cancer Society does so much, all different kinds of things,” he said. “It's incredible the amount of work they put in around the country and people don't see 90% of it.
'It's just a happy event'
Mr Filan’s wife Gillian is also involved in the relay and said it’s important to create supports for a disease that has affected nearly every family in the country.
“I don't think there's any families that haven't been affected by cancer in Ireland,” she said. “I mean, my mam had cancer 10 years ago.
“This is what the event is all about: it's people who lived through cancer, people who are fighting cancer, families.
“It’s just a happy event and the candlelight ceremony is such a big part of it... you get to write the name of the person on the back, and it's lit with candles, and everyone does it at the same time.”
'Loved ones are celebrated'
Mr Filan said there will be “a lot of people that are very sad” at the relay – but everyone can share in the experience.
“Loved ones are celebrated,” he said.
Tickets for the Relay for Life are on sale now at €15 each, and groups are also invited to begin their own fundraisers.
Mr Filan said there’s a chance he may sing at the Aviva Stadium.
“There will be music on the night, so if there’s a mic laying close by me, it may end up in my hand,” he said.
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