Portrait of HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan unveiled at Royal College of Physicians 4 days ago

Portrait of HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan unveiled at Royal College of Physicians

Laura is the only person who is not a doctor to ever be honoured in this way.

A portrait of the late health campaigner Laura Brennan has been unveiled at the Royal College of Physicians Ireland (RCPI).

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Laura was a leading advocate for the HPV vaccine before her death in 2019, when she passed away from cervical cancer at age 26. Her campaigning led to a surge in the number of young women taking the vaccine, which reduces the risk of cervical cancer.

Her portrait was commissioned by the RCPI to honour her for her "outstanding contribution to vaccine advocacy."

The portrait, painted by renowned artist Catherine Creaney, was presented as part of the college's annual St Luke’s Symposium event, with Laura's family in attendance. This year's event focused on global vaccination.

The RCPI's collection stretches back 300 years and consists of 95 portraits, all honouring those who played an important role in the world of Irish healthcare.

Laura is the first non-doctor to be honoured in such a way.

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Mary Horgan, RCPI President said:

“Laura’s beautiful portrait will be a constant reminder to doctors and so many people for generations to come of the power of advocacy to improve the health of the nation.

“Despite her being so unwell from her disease and its treatment, Laura’s voice was always strong as she continued to advocate for HPV vaccine for as long as she could.

“Laura’s tireless work was a great example of doctors and advocates working together in a powerful way.

“We are very honoured that she will be joining us at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. She will be a constant inspiration and source of admiration and a reminder to all of us of the power of advocacy and the health of the nation.’’

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The portrait will be on public view in the Stearne Room of the RCPI on Kildare Street.

Feature image via RCPI on Twitter.