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A ‘SunSmart’ garden shines a light on skin cancer at Bord Bia’s Bloom

‘The SunSmart garden created by the Marie Keating Foundation is designed to encourage people to protect themselves in the sun to avoid skin cancer

Dublin, May 31st 2018. The Marie Keating Foundation today unveiled their yellow themed ‘SunSmart’ Garden at Bord Bia’s Bloom. Sponsored by MSD, this garden aims to make the public- young & old, male & female- aware of the importance of protecting themselves in the sun i.e being SunSmart.

“We are so delighted to be here again at Bloom with our beautiful yellow garden and our important SunSmart message. Having been diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in the past, I urge all our visitors to Bloom to look after your skin – no matter what your age or skin type. Just one bad sun burn before you are 18 can increase your chances of skin cancer by 50%. Please be SunSmart and wear protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses and lots of high factor sunscreen” , Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation.

The “SunSmart” garden is number 8 in the show gardens area and our mobile information unit with our nurses on board will also be located at the main entrance of Bloom each day. The Foundation’s nurses & volunteers will be speaking to men, women and children about ways to reduce their risk of skin cancer and how to check their skin. They will be giving out information and free samples of La Roche Posay sunscreen.

A big feature of the garden will be a Pom Pom oak tree offering shade from the sun which is represented by a 2 meter inflatable which can be seen from far and wide. We will be inviting the public to ‘tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree’ or to buy a hat and to wear sunscreen. The uphill pathway in the garden represents the twists and turns of the cancer journey.

Designers of the garden, The Hairy Gardeners Peter & Monty said “We’re absolutely delighted to be here at Bloom with this exciting Sunsmart garden project. We’ve won some prestigious awards in the UK but it’s a real honour to be here at Bloom for the first time. Also as gardeners and landscapers who spend so much time outdoors, we have learnt a lot and have taken on board the message of the Marie Keating Foundation about being safe in the sun”.

Whatever your age, whether you are male or female, our yellow garden is designed to raise awareness of the fact that skin cancer is very preventable and to highlight the importance of being SunSmart. Using trees and canopies for shade as well as umbrellas, hats & sunscreen, we are asking people to protect themselves in the sun.

“I am delighted to be involved in this campaign as I have learned that more people – particularly men working or playing sport outdoors are being diagnosed with skin cancer even though it is very preventable. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen and make sure you’re protected from the sun. Whether you’re on the pitch or watching on the side-line – always wear sunscreen and a hat and be SunSmart, its just common sense” Jonny Cooper, GAA All Star & Marie Keating Foundation Ambassador

We will also have a number of melanoma patients attebding our garden as well as Consultant Dermatologist Dr Patrick Ormond who says: “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland. Skin cancers are divided into two main types: melanoma and non –melanoma. Non- melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland with over 9,780 cases diagnosed every year. Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are rising faster than any other cancer. Over 1,000 melanoma cancers are diagnosed every year. This is why using the SunSmart code and being and vigilant in checking your skin is vital to preventing skin cancer”.

A word from our sponsors,

MSD is delighted to be teaming up with the Marie Keating Foundation and their work in the fight against cancer in Ireland. Recent advances in the treatment options available to Irish patients, especially in the area of immuno-oncology, help to address previous unmet needs. Where possible though, cancer prevention has a key role to play and the prevention message embodied in the SunSmart Garden, is more important than ever.”- James Murphy, MSD Oncology Franchise Manager

To see the full plant list click here.