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Talk to Joe

Inside the stories on Liveline: 'It shone a light and suddenly we weren't alone'

Calls from prison, lost dogs and stories that changed HSE policy – these are just some of the stories from Liveline.

A MOTHER WHO of three who was battling cancer changed HSE policy following an emotional interview on Liveline and a hugely successful campaign.

Cathy Durkin lost her eye after being diagnosed with a tumour and just six months later she discovered the melanoma cancer returned in her liver and hip bone.

Her story is one of the many covered in a new series looking at some of the standout stories Liveline has dealt with over the years.

Durkin described to Joe Duffy about how the drug Ipilimumab or ‘Ipi’, which was a treatment for advanced melanoma, wasn’t covered by private health insurers or under the public system.

It came with a price tag of €85,000, which was beyond the reach of the majority of patients that needed it.

Durkin started fundraising and campaigning to get the drug made available and after her appearance on Liveline, thousands of euros flooded in to help cover the cost. Cathy’s sister Celine said,

Liveline for us shone a light … and suddenly we weren’t so alone anymore.

cathy Cathy and her sister Celine

The Department of Health soon announced that they would cover the cost of the drug for patients with progressive melanoma.

However, it was too late for Cathy, who passed away on July 28 2012 aged just 42.

Duffy said, “She left an incredible legacy … she gave hope to people by proving that one voice can make a difference.”

Describing the idea of taking Liveline to TV, Duffy previously told, ““It’s a simple idea I’ve been hawking for years – people often say to me: whatever happened that man or that woman afterwards that you gave the money to or built the house for or whatever.

It’s basically going back, taking up stories that were big over the years on Liveline.

“It’s almost Reeling in the Years in that sense – you go back and see how they get on, how their families get on.”

The six-part series Call Back airs on RTÉ One at 7pm tonight.

Read: Man living rough in grounds of RTÉ calls into Joe Duffy>

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