The Marie Keating Foundation is marking 20 years fighting breast cancer with a series of events this October.
The Foundation was established in 1998 by the Keating family after their mother, Marie Keating, died from the disease.
Coping with Advanced Breast Cancer booklet
The Foundation kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness month with the launch of it’s latest patient support resource, a Coping with Advanced Breast Cancer booklet, supported by Novartis.
The booklet was launched at a breakfast event held at the Marks & Spencer Café, Grafton Street and led by breast cancer survivor Norah Casey. I was honoured to be invited to the event, attended by women who have come out the other side of their breast cancer journey as well as those living with advanced breast cancer, in the spirit of bringing together both breast cancer communities.
The new booklet aims to offer women living with metastatic breast cancer the information, resources and advice they need in one portable, easy to understand booklet. When speaking at the launch, breast cancer survivor and CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation, Liz Yeates, said “This year is such a momentous year for the Foundation, marking 20 years fighting breast cancer and evolving to offer information, awareness and support services for all the common cancers to both men and women. Marie Keating died from breast cancer 20 years ago and this event is so special as it aims to recognise all that has been achieved since then in her name. Our event today includes women who have come through their breast cancer journey as well as those who are bravely battling advanced breast cancer, to acknowledge both sides of the breast cancer story. We are delighted today to be launching our latest patient resource, a Coping with Advanced Breast Cancer booklet, at the beautiful Marks & Spencer Café on Grafton Street. The booklet has been kindly supported by Novartis and aims to offer support to women with metastatic breast cancer.”
Foundation ambassador and host of the event, Norah Casey who had her own brush with breast cancer said, “I am delighted to be here today to help the Marie Keating Foundation launch Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Their services and emphasis on early detection and prevention is critical to make people aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, increasing their chances of a positive outcome. My own journey changed my outlook and it is such a privilege to be at this event amongst so many other women who have come through or who are fighting this awful disease.”
Five-year survival rates now at 83%
In the 20 years since the Foundation was established, the prognosis for breast cancer caught early has improved, with five-year survival rates now at 83%. Treatment options for those women diagnosed with metastatic or advanced breast cancer have also improved and more women are living successfully with the disease than ever before. It’s estimated that approximately 37,000 women in Ireland are currently living with breast cancer.
In contrast, more women than ever are being diagnosed annually. According to the National Cancer Registry Ireland, 3,516 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, which has risen steadily since 1998.
Programmes for women with breast cancer
The Foundation, over the last two decades, has run numerous awareness campaigns and support services for women with breast cancer. Their Survive and Thrive programmes help women who have completed their treatment to make the transition to their ‘new normal’. Their Positive Living workshops are held for women living with advanced breast cancer, helping women cope both psychologically as well as physically.
Co-Founder and Director of Fundraising, Linda Keating said, “When I look back over the last 20 years, it is hard to fathom just how far the Foundation has come in that time. What started out as the manifestation of one family’s grief has become one of the leading cancer voices in Ireland and hopefully had a positive impact on many people lives. I hope that Mam would be proud of what has been achieved in her name. As the stats show, the incidence rates of breast cancer is rising so the demands on our services are greater then ever. We are so appreciative of all of our volunteers and the members of the public who raise money through fundraisers and donations. Our corporate partners, in particular Marks & Spencer, are always so generous, and their support and generosity is always greatly appreciated. Without all of this effort, we could not continue to do our work and look forward to the next 20 years of providing free cancer awareness and prevention information and services free of charge nationwide.”
For more information visit www.mariekeating.ie/cancer-information/breast-cancer/
More about the Marie Keating Foundation
This year marks a very important milestone for the Marie Keating Foundation. It’s 20 years since the Foundation was set up, following the death of Marie Keating from breast cancer in 1998. After losing their mother, the Keating family promised that they would do everything they could to bring an end to cancer. The Marie Keating Foundation helps men and women prevent cancer, detect it at earliest stages and supports them through cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
Through its community information service, the Foundation’s nurses have talked to over 260,000 people about the causes and risk factors of cancer. The Foundation offers national awareness and education programmes covering the most common cancers affecting people in Ireland, including bowel, breast, lung, prostate and skin cancer.
Through its Comfort Fund, the Marie Keating Foundation provides financial assistance to people who are receiving treatment for any kind of cancer and who find themselves in financial difficulty as a result. In 2017 alone, over 530 families received assistance from the Comfort Fund.
The Marie Keating Foundation supports cancer patients and survivors through its Positive Living and Survive & Thrive programmes, which are run nationwide, free of charge, for men and women. Over 1,000 cancer survivors have attended courses and seminars since the programmes’ inception in 2014. The Survive & Thrive Programme is aimed at anyone who has come through treatment adjust to their ‘new normal’ and offer practical advice and help in many areas of life including diet and exercise, emotional support and adjusting to returning to work. The Positive Living programme is for men and women living with advanced cancer and their specific physical and psychological needs.
Marie Keating Foundation Events to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- October: New patient resource booklet, kindly supported by Novartis, ‘Coping with Advanced Breast Cancer’ will be launched and available in October. To request a copy contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, October 8 – Survive & Thrive Fashion Show, Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin. The Marie Keating Foundation will host its annual fashion show with 14 supermodels who are breast cancer survivors and 10 professional models wearing clothes from Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. The audience includes up to 250 friends and family members of cancer survivors making this a very special celebration of cancer survivorship.
- Friday, October 12 – Metastatic Breast Cancer Seminar, Dublin. In conjunction with Europa Donna Ireland, we are holding a free seminar for Metastatic Breast Cancer patients and their loved ones. It’s being held in the Richmond Building, Brunswick Street, North Smithfield, from 1pm to 4.30pm. The theme for this year is ‘Coping Psychologically and Physically’ and will look at issues including coping strategies in the management of symptoms such as chronic fatigue and the importance and benefits of exercise. Registration is essential and can be done here: https://www.mariekeating.ie/events/metastatic-breast-cancer-seminar/
- Wednesday, 7th November – Survive & Thrive Programme. The Marie Keating Foundation’s Survive and Thrive workshops and seminars have been created to help men and women who have finished cancer treatment to adapt to their ‘new normal.’ Both the workshops and the seminars include advice from experts on issues that cancer survivors often face including: coping with emotions; fatigue and other symptoms; changing nutritional needs; coping with feelings and change; managing stress and physical activity. This six week programme is free but registration is essential and can be done here: https://www.mariekeating.ie/events/survive-thrive-programme/
- November – Metastatic Breast Cancer Seminar, Cork. This free seminar for women with advanced breast cancer and their loved ones will be held at a location to be decided in Cork. Further information will be added and can be found at https://www.mariekeating.ie/events