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The Karen Fenton Ovarian Cancer Fund

Cause Description

Karen Fenton was born on the 27th of August 1973, the eldest of six siblings, a role where her generosity, devotion and sense of responsibility grew and flourished. She was always a diligent and devoted student excelling in school, winning awards and achieving high academic success. She later went on to CIT to study Chemical Engineering, where Karen was class captain for her four years there and sat on the Institute Students Council demonstrating her natural leadership qualities.

Karen was energetic and passionate about music from an early age and enjoyed recorder, piano and guitar. She was involved in many concerts and played guitar for the Ballinora Church choir. She was the ‘life and soul’ of every party and the instigator and organiser, never missing an opportunity for a sing-song, “Buttercup” being one of her favourite party pieces.

One of Karen’s greatest pleasures was to travel and this she did with determination, style and grit from backpacking through Asia to skiing in the Blue Mountains in Australia. However it was Coogee in Sydney which finally took her fancy and there she settled for nine years, enjoying the outdoor life and adventure.

She returned to Ireland in 2014 to be near her family and to be present for all family occasions as family was Karen’s greatest priority. It was Clontarf in Dublin which captivated her from the beaches at Bull Island, the cycle track at the Causeway, to the quaint cafe ‘Ebb & Flow’.

Karen was a keen adventurer and pursued many such hobbies, camping, hill walking, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, tag rugby, marathon running and finally settled on Triathlons. She joined Piranha Triathlon Club in Dublin almost two years ago and became an avid tri-athlete even making impressions on Sonia O’Sullivan in Cobh in 2016. “On lap three I met Karen from the Piranha Triathlon Club in Dublin, bouncing along and happy to chat, so we ran together for a bit, and that certainly helped.”  She was so involved she became secretary of the club only a couple of months before her diagnosis.

Karen was ambitious and approached her education and work with energy and enthusiasm. She aspired to further enhance her career by studying many courses throughout her professional life becoming a project manager and culminating with her MBA. Karen worked tirelessly throughout her career in Pfizer, Veolia and Aecom in Australia and Premier Periclase, Irish Water and RPS in Ireland.

Karen had a passion for many things but most of all she had a passion for people. She has inspired and touched so many people and has friends in every corner of the globe. Karen was a small lady with a huge personality and an even bigger heart, vivacious, fearless and loyal.

Her ever caring nature was evident in her work with Amnesty International of which she was a member from a very young age, to her efforts in fighting for human rights and gender equality. Sustainability and environmental awareness were also very high in Karen’s list of priorities, always carrying a “keep cup” for her much loved coffee.

Karen was due to start a new job, her ‘dream job’ in Dublin on the 27th of February 2017. Unfortunately that same day she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She stayed strong and upbeat throughout her treatment but lost her battle after two short months on the 30th of April 2017 at age 43.

Karen’s death has had such a huge impact on her family, friends, colleagues, the whole Ballinora Community and beyond. Due to a lack of awareness of Ovarian Cancer, its symptoms and treatment and the apparent insufficient research into same, Karen’s family have set up a fund in her name, honour and memory.

Irish women are signficantly more likely to die from Ovarian Cancer than their EU peers. It tends to be diagnosed at a later stage, partly because of a lack of awareness of symptoms, yet it is now the fourth most common cancer among women in Ireland. A lack of funding and research mean that young women like Karen who have hope, faith, determination and belief are fighting a losing battle. The drug resistant nature of Karen's cancer meant that effective chemotherapies were lacking. This disappointing fact suggests that improved understanding of drug resistant cancers could lead to the successful treatment of patients like Karen. We can't have hope for survival without hope for a cure!

It's time to stand up to Ovarian Cancer!

Feel the TEAL!

Fight the Fight and Find the CURE!




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Contact Us

Contact Details

Corbally, Waterfall, Cork, Cork, IRELAND - T12 F446