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The Marie Keating Foundation ‘Breath of Life’ Garden Tells the Story of Lung Cancer in Ireland at Bord Bia’s Bloom

The Marie Keating Foundation ‘Breath of Life’ Garden Tells the Story of Lung Cancer in Ireland at Bord Bia’s Bloom  

The garden aims to raise awareness of lung cancer, recognising its low survival rates and position as Ireland biggest cancer killer, while also highlighting the hope that exists with new treatments and better understanding of its signs and symptoms

Dublin, May 30th 2019 – The Marie Keating Foundation today unveiled their ‘Breath of Life’ garden at Bord Bia’s Bloom. Designed by award-winning designer Tünde Perry, the garden aims to throw the spotlight on Ireland’s biggest cancer killer, lung cancer. The multi-coloured garden highlights the stark reality facing many of the 2,564[i] men and women diagnosed with lung cancer each year, as well as the hope that exists with the advent of new treatment options and greater awareness of its early signs and symptoms

Sponsored by MSD and Flogas the show-garden also aims to promote the important role that healthy eating, exercise and quitting smoking can play in reducing a person’s risk of, not just lung cancer but, all cancers.

Commenting at the unveiling CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation Liz Yeates said “this is our 4th year at Bloom and we are delighted to be here again with our lung cancer ‘Breath of Life’ garden. Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer related death in Ireland and yet it historically hasn’t received the same level of attention as other cancers. The lack of awareness of signs and symptoms of lung cancer as well as a stigma element mean that many people present at late stage resulting in poorer prognosis and survival rates. We hope our garden at Bloom will help put a much-needed spotlight on lung cancer, highlighting the importance of early detection and the advancement of new treatment options but also the importance lifestyle choices can make in helping to reduce a person’s risk.”

The ‘Breath of Life’ garden is number 16 in the show garden area and a central feature is the four-meter high sculpture, which reaches out over the garden, representing the lungs and the support that is needed for patients when they are on or recovering from a lung cancer journey. The covered patio area in the garden is clad in charred timber to reflect the pervasive nature of lung cancer as the biggest cause of death in Ireland. This is also echoed in the dark coloured flowers used throughout the garden. The outdoor patio area can be used for BBQing all year round, and this space reaffirms the importance of a healthy diet and other healthy lifestyle factors in preventing and combatting cancer. The natural swimming pool, which contains no chemicals, is an area for exercise and relaxation reinforcing the message of healthy choices in reducing your risk of cancer. It is also as a space that focusses on the importance of reflection and mindfulness during a cancer journey.

Throughout the five days, the garden will be visited by lung cancer survivors and families affected by lung cancer, including Michael Byrne who had his right lung removed after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015. Michael says “picking up on my persistent cough and going to see my GP, saved my life. Things could be a lot different if I had delayed getting help. I would urge anyone with concerns or something they feel isn’t normal for them, to go and see their doctor. I am so grateful to be here today to be able to enjoy spending time with my friends, riding my motorcycle and enjoying my wonderful family, my 12 grandchildren certainly keep me on my toes!

The Marie Keating Foundation’s mobile information unit will also be located at the main entrance of Bloom each day and its nurses and volunteers will be speaking to the public about ways to reduce their risk of cancer and educating about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. Members of the public will be invited to pay tribute to a loved one affected by cancer, by pinning a personalised ribbon to the tribute wall at the garden.

Ger Brennan, Managing Director, MSD Ireland said “We are delighted to sponsor the Marie Keating Foundation garden in Bloom for a second year running. Lung cancer is a disease that badly needs additional focus and awareness building to ensure survival rates improve. We hope that the “Breath of Life” Garden will play an important role in raising awareness of this condition.

In addition to the garden, we have also sponsored research on the experiences of patients with stage three and four lung cancer patients which also identifies some key learnings and recommendations for policy makers with a view to improving the outcome and experiences of those touched by lung cancer.

The work conducted by the Marie Keating Foundation to raise awareness of its signs and symptoms is crucial and it’s something we very much support. New treatment options, give great hope to lung cancer patients and hopefully with improved access and better awareness, we will finally see the survival rates of lung cancer begin to improve.

A host of Irish chefs will take part in cookery demonstrations from the BBQ area in the garden, cooking up delicious healthy recipes. These include:

  • Zack Gallagher
  • Edwards Hayden
  • Tara Walker
  • Neven Maguire
  • Brian McDermott
  • Adrian Martin

Flogas co-sponsor the garden and Eoin O’Fynn, Marketing Manager for Flogas Ireland says “Flogas are delighted to partner with the Marie Keating Foundation for their Breath of Life Garden at Bloom 2019. Throughout the five days Flogas will sponsor a series of Healthy Eating and Gas Barbeque Demos from top cooking talent.”

New lung cancer patient research is being launched on Friday May 31st at a breakfast event at Bloom. The in-depth qualitative research, sponsored by MSD, focusses on the experiences of stage three and four lung cancer patients in Ireland and highlights some key learnings and recommendations to policy makers, in an effort to improve the outcomes and experiences of those touched by lung cancer.