Amie Ó Bric will never forget 31 May 2016.

It was the day she was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. The news, she says, devastated her. Her life "utterly crumbled".

The fifth anniversary of that date passed last Monday, and Amie is still with us. In fact, she celebrated the date by climbing Carrauntoohil with her husband, Cormac.

Nowadays, every day is a day to celebrate for Amie and her family although, understandably, she did not quite see things that way at the time of her diagnosis in 2016.

Amie and her husband climbed Carrauntoohil last weekend, raising €2,000
for Breakthrough Cancer Research

"I was a young mom at the time with two young kids and I was devastated," Amie recalls.

"My whole life was utterly changed. I had a little girl starting school in September and I was saying 'will I make it, will I be there for her', and I was. I got through it and I am here today to tell my story and to share it with you all," she said.

Amie's voice is cracking as she recalls that time in 2016.

She is telling her story now because today is National Cancer Survivors' Day - the day when cancer survival is celebrated - and five years on from the date of her diagnosis, Amie is a survivor.

She is part of a growing club.

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The HSE describes a cancer survivor as someone who is living "with and beyond" cancer.

It points out that five-year survival rates for people who have some of the more common forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer, is over 80%, and says around 4% of the population are now cancer survivors.

According to the HSE's projections, the number of cancer survivors in Ireland will double over the next 25 years, mainly due to improvements in early detection, new developments and more effective treatments.

There are approximately 200,000 cancer survivors in Ireland, according to National Cancer Registry Ireland.

In fact, if all the cancer survivors here lived in one county, the population would be as big as the population of Co Kildare, or Meath, or Cork City, or Co Limerick.

Breakthrough Cancer Research is an Irish medical research charity focused on cancer.

Orla Dolan, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Cancer Research

Today, it is calling on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to designate a 33rd county of Ireland: the County of Survivors. It's a symbolic gesture, helping to highlight a little positive news.

There is also a serious point though. While the number of cancer survivors is roughly around 200,000, there are still 45,000 people diagnosed with cancer in Ireland every year, while 9,000 people die from the disease.

The trend is positive, survival rates are improving all the time, but they say too many people are still dying from cancer.

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Breakthrough believes the key to even better survival rates is through greater investment in cancer research by Government, and more voluntary donations from the public.

Breakthrough Cancer Research's call is to make more survivors, so that Ireland's 33rd county will be the fastest-growing in the country.

Michael Healy from Bantry in Co Cork - like Amie Ó Bric - would be a resident of this symbolic 33rd county.

In 2011, Michael was diagnosed with a rare cancer, called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. It's also known as PMP, for short, or appendix cancer.

Michael was referred to the UK, because there was no treatment for PMP in Ireland.

He underwent 13 hours of surgery, during which his colon, spleen, appendix and gall bladder were removed. He spent the five days afterwards in intensive care, and 17 days without food.

Recovery was a slow process, and fatigue was a frequent visitor.

"You really appreciate the little things in life, like we have here today, the birds singing and the sunshine, and your family and how important they are to you as well"

"Slowly but surely, you increased the walking percentage every day," Michael recalls of his recovery.

"Over time, in my case it took maybe 12 months to get back to somewhat near normal and I guess I am one of the lucky ones, with a positive story."

Michael is a decade on from his diagnosis. He says he can eat and, in moderation, drink what he wants. He walks and runs to stay fit and is grateful for what he has.

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"I would have to say, I got a second chance in life and when you get a second chance in life in your 50s you have got to grab it with both hands," Michael says.

"You really appreciate the little things in life, like we have here today, the birds singing and the sunshine, and your family and how important they are to you as well."

Amie Ó Bric decided early in her treatment in 2016 that she was going to be around to raise her two children, Chloe, who is now nine, and Conor, who is six, with her husband Cormac.

"I decided to stay as positive as I could for my family," she says. "I had good days and bad days and I used to just think positively every day."

'I decided to stay as positive as I could for my family,' Amie says

Amie employed the power of positive thinking again last weekend, when she and Cormac climbed Carrauntoohil, raising €2,000 for Breakthrough Cancer Research in the process.

"I'm here today to give people hope, to send my positivity and tell people to keep up the fight, never give up and we will make more survivors," she said.