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It is with the deepest of sadness that we share news of the passing of our dear friend Patricia Stack.

All of us at the Marie Keating Foundation who have had the privilege of knowing Patricia are heartbroken by her loss.

Our entire team and board send  our deepest condolences to her husband Brian, daughters Kate and Clodagh, and wider family.

Patricia was a force, a powerful patient advocate, fierce supporter of others, friend to many and an inspiration to all who bore witness to and stood alongside her as she strived to make a difference when it came to Bowel Cancer Awareness, treatment, policy and change.

With the support of our Director of Nursing, Helen Forristal, Patricia was a valued member of our Positive Living community where she forged the strongest of friendships. These friendships led to the development of the Irish Colorectal Cancer Community, now Bowel Cancer Ireland, a powerful community of patient advocates, all living with advanced cancer and acknowledging the need for more recognition, resources and supports for people with Bowel Cancer in Ireland, particularly those diagnosed under the age of 50.

In Patricias own words shared recently with us discussing Positive Living and life with incurable cancer. “We live 2 parallel lives “Hoping for the Best, planning for the Worst” – not my words but a book I read recently, and I think it sums up how many of us live with advanced cancer.

I found a group of people who could get it, understand all the things we lose in our life and the uncertainty.  Even small things – should I buy that dress – how many times will I wear it?  Just buy it!!”

We can have conversations that we might find difficult with friends and family, especially talking about preparing for “the worst”.  We laugh and cry about our situations.

This group also inspired me to try and do something about the lack of support for Colorectal Cancer patients.  I met amazing advocates in this group.”

This community and founding members, Patricia, Niamh Conroy, Clodagh Downing and Dee Flemming along with Michael Murphy were the inspiration behind our powerful #NoRegrets Campaign in April 2023. Our first Bowel Cancer Seminar with an opening address from this powerful lady Patricia herself was hosted  in Cork. Through this campaign and seminar, we  worked collaboratively to raise national awareness of Early Onset Bowel Cancer and to set the wheels in motion for change,

All of us feel Patricia’s loss deeply as she impacted so many of us profoundly.  We hold her in awe as she courageously challenged the system, articulated her case for change so clearly; all the time selflessly arguing for better services for others who would be diagnosed with bowel cancer after her.

A force like Patricia has a power that lives on in everything and everyone she impacted, in the community she helped to build, in the policies she was striving to change, in campaigns, seminars, conversations and conventions she contributed to. In the relationships she built.

Patricia wouldn’t stop striving for change in her mission to help others, and we won’t either.

 

Rest in peace and power Patricia, you will be sorely missed but your impact and legacy will continue to help countless others in the years to come. Go gently Patricia to your resting place, we are with you all the way.