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Lia Mills Awarded an Honorary Degree from Trinity College - 24th June 2016

Lia Mills was awarded an Honorary Degree from Trinity College Dublin in June 2016. On Wednesday 23rd June 2016 the Dental School and Hospital held an evening for Lia who is a mouth cancer survivor and and co-founder of Mouth Cancer Awareness Ireland (MHNCAI). Please see below information about Lia and some photographs from the evening held in her honour. Many thanks to all who attended especially to our student helpers on the evening. .

Lia Mills

“Life is divided into three periods—that which has been, that which is, that which will be; of these the present time is short, the future is doubtful, the past is certain” (Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, 10). How many of us can claim to translate this simple truth into a true passion for life? LIA MILLS is a woman and a writer who powerfully advocates the value of embracing one’s past, acting on one’s future, and meaningfully living the present. Her wisdom comes not only from her extraordinary academic career — she boasts a BA in Radiography from UCD and a BA in Behavioral Science from Lesley College Boston, followed by a Masters’ in Women’s Studies from UCD and a Masters’ in Screenwriting from the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology — but also, and most importantly, from her experience, empathy and imagination. She writes about women, and their courage in the face of a haunting past (Another Alice) or a threatening future (Nothing Simple). “If we lose our memory, how do we know who we are?” cries the heroine of her most recent novel, set in the eve of the Easter Rising: in our year of centenary commemorations, Fallen was the book chosen for the unprecedented Two Cities One Book Festival held in Dublin and Belfast last April. In this special year she is Arts Council Writer Fellow in UCD and the writer-in-residence at Farmleigh House.
Her novels have been called ‘emotional epic’: there is no better way to capture the force of her autobiographical memoir. In Your Face is a lucid account of her direct experience of mouth cancer; unsurprisingly so, for only “the mind that is untroubled and tranquil has the power to roam into all the parts of its life.” Not an easy task, and she accomplished it masterfully. She encouraged others to imitate her, as she joined forces with our colleagues in Dental Science to gather Word of Mouth, voices of cancer survivors and professionals united in the fight against cancer. Her exceptional ability to communicate goes beyond the written word. The future is uncertain? Do something about it, she says—and she did. Her initiative brought about the Mouth, Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland Group and inspired an invaluable Awareness Campaign, now in its fifth year, which our University is proud to champion worldwide.  More than twenty thousand members of the Irish public have participated in the campaign and, as importantly, students have also enthusiastically involved themselves, broadening their undergraduate experience and empowering them as future healthcare professionals. There was no mirth in the stern philosopher of old; when this woman expresses almost identical sentiments, she does it with feeling, generosity and joy. She teaches us the most precious truth: the present happens now. Live, love, do the things that you really want to do. Be free. Be happy. Be alive. .

The above is the oration delivered by Prof. Anna Chahoud.

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