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Codilia Gapare, a breast cancer survivor, has revolutionised the beauty industry by creating the first ever false lashes range for chemotherapy patients.

The mother-of-two was diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2014 on the same day that she underwent an interview with the Manchester Metropolitan University.

While she was offered her dream place, she eventually had to drop out to focus on her chemotherapy treatment after struggling to balance her studies. She chose to use her spare time to create something truly special.

Image: IMAGE.ie

She initially had tried to ignore the diagnosis, but later had to face the illness head on after losing all of her hair.

"The mental battle caused me to become drained. I had two kids, I was a single mum, working two jobs. And that was my reality. I was so upset with myself for being sick. I was supposed to be realising my dream but instead, I felt like a failure," she explained.

Through this intensely difficult time in her life, she realised that there were no fake eyelash options for cancer patients.

She transformed her idea into an actual product, 'C Lashes', and partnered with beauty brand Eylure. The company have since released the range in Boots stores, making the cosmetic industry more accessible for women with cancer.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Codilia Gapare (@c.lashbycody) on

In an interview with metro.co.uk, she describes how the lashes are designed with a larger, more flexible adhesive band and a bigger surface area to help them stick to the eyelid, and this makes the whole process far easier for women with little-to-no eyelashes.

Colidia wanted to make something that would help cancer patients feel like themselves again, and recalled how hard it was for her to lose her hair;

"Being black, we always play with our hair. Losing my hair was a big deal. No one talks about how much hair you lose though. I lost my eyelashes, eyebrows, pubes, underarm hair."

Colidia came from Zimbabwe to the UK when she was 26-years-old to pursue her ultimate dream of becoming a lawyer, so a full-time business model wasn't exactly planned. Especially after spending years working and studying to apply for university.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Codilia Gapare (@c.lashbycody) on

The 41-year-old Cheshire resident chose to drive three hours away to her law degree interview after being given her cancer diagnosis, and she NAILED it. What a woman.

She found a lump in her breast in July 2014, and confirmed the illness just a month later. "Mostly, I was in denial," she told Metro.co.uk.

"I really convinced myself I wasn’t ill, I was totally unprepared. I didn’t even tell anyone I was going to my interview but I didn’t even think about cancelling it. ‘For me going ahead with the interview was going ahead with my life."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Codilia Gapare (@c.lashbycody) on

She continued; "But I wasn’t prepared to lose my lashes."

"When my lashes started to thin out, I bought fake ones, but I struggled because it took off all the remaining hair. I didn’t do it for attention, I just wanted to feel like myself. I just wanted to be me again."

Codilia's life has gone up and up since then; she was offered a scholarship through support network Women in Business to study a masters in Business Admin at the same university.

H​​​aving received the all-clear from the disease at her latest check-up, Codilia is now in the final year of her studies in Manchester. What an UNREAL gal.

The lashes come in three different styles including 'Naturals', 'Lengthening', and 'Volume', and can be bought on boots.ie for just €7.49 now.

Feature image: Instagram/@c.lashbycody

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The morning-after-pill will now be available to medical card holders without a GP visit.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, has announced this morning that people with medical cards will have access to emergency contraception directly from their pharmacies, free of charge from July 2017.

'Announcing this morning that access to emergency contraception directly through the pharmacy will be available on the General Medical Services scheme from July,' he said, speaking at the Irish Pharmacy Union this morning.

'All women – regardless of means – should have access to emergency contraception through their pharmacy. This measure will ensure this,' he continued, according to the Journal.

The Irish Pharmacy Union welcomed the development, saying that it 'addresses a longstanding injustice and anomaly for these women who, up to now, had to go to their GP to get a prescription if they wished to get emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) on the medical card.'

'It is time sensitive and that its effectiveness diminishes between the time of unprotected sex and the time of taking it, emphasising both the importance of all women being able to readily access it and thus the value of the convenience and accessibility offered by community pharmacies.'

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It's hard to belive that just over a decade ago, the morning after pill was illegal on Irish shores.

While it was legalised in 2003, it has only been available from your local pharmacy since 2011, with a consultation.

According to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the morning-after pill should be available to buy straight from pharmacy shelves without the need for a private patient consultation.

These consultations usually consist of a short meeting to discus general details, allergies, and contraceptive methods, according to one pharmacist.

The price of these pills comes in at about €35, the highest price in Europe, and according to the BPAS "women are paying the ultimate sexist surcharge on their sex lives,"because of the inflated price.

The emergency contraceptive is available on the medical card, but only after a GP visit to procure a prescription.

"This is neither right nor fair," says the BPAS.

"It is utterly stupid that we have made a medication which gives women a second chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy so hard to obtain,” said Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS.

BPAS is calling on the Department of Health to reclassify the morning-after pill as a general sales list drug, which would allow people to buy it directly from shop shelves like condoms. 

“There is no financial justification for the high price of this pill, nor clinical reason for a consultation before it can be sold," said the chief executive.  

According to the BPAS, eliminating the need for the consultation could drive down the price of the pills.

The price of the pill has been branded as "sexist," after one Pharmaceutical Journal report said that the price was to ensure women wouldn't take the pill often.

"The price has been set, in part, to ensure that EHC is not used as a regular method of contraception," it read.

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New York-based Pfizer and Allergan, which has its HQ in Dublin, have today merged – creating the world's biggest drug company.

The deal is said to be worth an astonishing €145bn.

In a statement, the company – which will be called Pfizer PLC – has pledged to continue its “discovery and development of new innovative medicines for patients.” And it added that the merger “brings together two biopharma powerhouses to change lives for the better”. 

Head of Pfizer Ian Read will now be chief executive and chairman of the organisation, with Dublin-based Allergan boss Brent Saunders becoming president and chief operating officer.

The move also allows Pfizer to pay a lower rate of corporation tax through its newly-acquired Irish office – potentially saving the company hundreds of millions annually.

The Allergan factory is based in Westport, Co Mayo and employs close-to 1,000 people in Ireland. Principally it manufactures the likes of contact lenses, breast implants, anti-depressants and Alzheimer's drugs – and is also well-known for making the anti-wrinkle treatment, Botox.

Pfizer, which was founded in New York in 1849, is already the manufacturer of Viagra, along with statins, antibiotics and vaccines, and cancer and HIV drugs – some of which the WHO deems "essential" for global healthcare needs. 

It already employs around 3,200 people at seven sites in Ireland – making it one of the biggest providers of jobs in the country.

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