Following their mother Marie’s death from breast cancer in 1998, the Keating family promised to provide the people of Ireland with vital information, advice and support on the signs and symptoms of cancer and help to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest stages. The Marie Keating Foundation was established in her memory and with this central ambition in mind.
The Foundation's mission is to make cancer less frightening by enlightening and our aim is to live in a world free from the fear of cancer.
Today, the Marie Keating Foundation are one of the leading voices in Ireland for cancer prevention, awareness and support. We are committed to being there for people diagnosed with cancer, and their families at every step of this cancer journey, and our services reflect that. Through our information and support services, we reach thousands of people a year, giving education, information and advice focused on cancer prevention and early detection, as well as providing support services and financial assistance to those living with and beyond cancer.
Our team of 21 and our Board works tirelessly to ensure that the mission and legacy that the Keating Family established 24 years ago is fulfilled, and everyone in Ireland has access to trusted information on cancer prevention and early detection and that those on a cancer journey have the support they need to come through it.
Our Core Values
Our work will be underpinned by our values of:
Empathy: We care deeply about people who are experiencing cancer. Compassion and empathy are the core of our services. Upholding the dignity of whatever we help matters the most.
Support: Everyone who accesses our services is unique. Personal support ensures everyone is cared for fully and respectfully.
Kindness: Positivity, hope, love.
Patient Voice: Ensuring that patient voice is central to everything we do, we will always listen, try to understand and do all we can to represent your views and respond to your needs.
Collaboration: Partnership, sharing and teamwork are at the heart of MKF to provide our services and outcomes for patients, survivors & families.
Open: Our services are accessible to everyone and our footprint covers 26 counties. Ensuring we are there for all, even the most remote and underserved communities is a priority for us.
Trust: We hold the trust of our donors, supporters and ambassadors dear. Our work is underpinned by integrity, honesty and transparency.
Accountability: We continue to hold the highest standards in charity governance. We take the responsibility given to us by our supporters seriously and ensure we are as efficient, while still being effective, as possible.
Professionalism: All our work is underpinned by evidence meaning the public can trust our information and advice.
Cancer Prevention and Awareness Campaigns
Each year, we run a number of national cancer awareness campaigns. We do this to increase awareness of the signs and symptoms of the most common cancers among the general public, increasing early detection rates which will lead to better survival rates. Our campaigns serve as a reminder for people to be aware of their own bodies and what's normal for them, and to seek help if they need it.
We provide a wide and varied array of services to help provide support, information and advice to people at every step of their cancer journey. Our services focus on cancer prevention and education, or support and community for those already on a cancer journey.
Mobile Information Units
Please note during the current COVID-19 crisis this services is currently suspended to ensure we comply with public health advice.
Staffed by a specialist MKF nurse, the mobile information units visit community groups, workplaces, organisations and public places to bring cancer information straight into the heart of communities nationwide.
The mobile information units are stocked with take-home information leaflets and packs on the various cancers to let you process this important information at home, in the comfort of your own home. Our nurses travel all over the country providing information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how best to reduce your risk of cancer. For more information on our mobile units dates and how to book a visit, click here.
The Marie Keating Foundation Schools Cancer Awareness Programme aims to help secondary school students and adult learners learn how to reduce their risk of cancer and how to spot the signs and symptoms early. The programme makes cancer ‘less frightening by enlightening,’ by engaging students with age-appropriate, interactive and informative material. Click here for more information on our school talks.
Corporate Wellness Workshops
The Marie Keating Foundation’s Corporate Wellness Workshops is a programme offered by our specialist nurses, bringing workshops and presentations on how to spot cancer and on healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of cancer into the workplace. These can be general presentations or bespoke for the specific audience. These workshops aim to help give employees the tools they need to spot the sign and symptoms of cancer early while also helping to reduce their risk of developing cancer and maintain good health. For more information on the workshops available to your business, click here. In an effort to help support those working from home to stay healthy and aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, our nursing team are offering our corporate wellness workshops via webinar, bringing our vital information and advice to you from the safety and comfort of your own home. For more information on how to book a wellness webinar for your company, email [email protected]
A cancer diagnosis can place a huge strain on the person diagnosed both physically and emotionally, but with the inability to work, and the additional costs associated with treatment, cancer survivors can experience a lot of financial strain during this period. Our Comfort Fund was designed to try and meet this need, and provide grants for those experiencing financial difficulty as a result of cancer treatment. In 2019 alone, we have been able to provide financial assistance to 660 families coping with cancer treatment. Over the years, the numbers applying for this fund have grown exponentially.
Our Comfort Fund has been put under immense strain and as we receive very little government funding, we rely heavily on the generosity of the public. If you'd like to donate to our Comfort Fund, please click here.
BRCA Peer To Peer Support
For men and women diagnosed with a positive BRCA gene mutation, it can be difficult to find support and advice from people that understand the journey you are undertaking. Our MKF BRCA peer to peer supporters are a group of BRCA positive volunteers that have learned to navigate their diagnosis and are here to help you, and answer any questions you have related to your BRCA experience. To get in touch and send your questions or queries to one of our supporters, visit our BRCA Support page. You can also get to know our peer to peer supports by reading about their experiences here.
Survive and Thrive Programmes
Our Survive and Thrive workshops and seminars have been running since 2014 and were created to help men and women who have finished cancer treatment to adapt to the ‘new normal.’ Our meetings include advice from nurses, as well as peer to peer advice from other survivors on issues that cancer survivors often face such as fatigue, nutrition and fear of recurrence. Survive and Thrive programmes run nation wide and are free to attend. To keep up to date with all seminars running around the country, click here.
During the current COVID-19 crisis these face to face six week programmes are suspended but we are offering support and advice to survivors in other ways so please do email [email protected] or call 01 6283726 if you need any support or help.
Positive Living Meetings
Being diagnosed with a metastatic cancer can be a lonely and isolating time filled with complicated emotions and questions. In order to support those diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, a community who have their own set of emotional, physical, and practical needs separate to other cancer patients, we have established our Positive Living programme. This programme is led by local experts that provide resources and support to group members and their families. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to continue to provide support and community to those most at risk, the Foundation has adapted this service to now run as a twice monthly webinar, providing support and advice for women living with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. For more information or to sign up, click here.
During the COVID-19 crisis these support meetings have been moved online but are still open to new members.
Over the last 24 years, the Marie Keating Foundation has had a lasting impact on the lives of the cancer patients and survivors that use our services, and the wider population.
In the last year, our nursing team have spoken to over 10,931 members of the public in person about their health and how they can reduce their risk. Margalised groups were visited by our team as well as 54 schools and 82 workplaces. They have also hosted 82 webinars and monthly support groups for our Positive Living, Survive and Thrive and BRCA communities.
Over 537,898 people viewed our website, visiting popular pages like our breast cancers section as well as skin and bowel cancer chapters. In the years to come, we hope to build on these numbers and help bring education and advice on cancer awareness and prevention to even more people across Ireland.
To read more about the impact MKF has had, Please read our 2021 annual report here
In 2020, the Marie Keating Foundation launched a five year strategic plan in an effort to provide the best supports we can, while reaching a wider audience than ever before.
This ambitious plan aims to consolidate our presence as one of the leading organisations for cancer awareness, increase cancer education and prevention in Ireland while enhancing our support services to ensure we make a meaningful difference to those on a cancer journey and developing our survivorship services for people living with or beyond cancer.
We plan to enhance our cancer awareness, prevention and education services through our community mobile outreach, school cancer awareness and corporate wellness programmes, further develop our cancer survivorship services and programmes as well as collaborate with peer organisations and other stakeholders to highlight issues affecting cancer patients.
To read our full Five Year Stategic Plan, here.
How You Can Help
Our five year strategic plan is a very ambitious guideline, one that we can't achieve without your help. It is estimated that 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer at some point in their life, and as this figure grows, so too must our services, but we can not do this without your help.
By volunteering your time
Setting up a fundraiser
You are helping us to continue to support those diagnosed with cancer and their families at every step of their cancer journey.
For more information on how we plan to achieve our aims, you can read a full copy of our three year strategic plan here.