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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland, after skin cancer. As such, most people are aware of breast cancer. However, many women are still not breast aware. At the Marie Keating Foundation, we are spending the month of October reminding women to be breast aware and to encourage others to do the same. That’s why our Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities are called “Look After Your Girls.”

We have made a lot of progress in the fight against breast cancer but still have a long way to go so become more breast aware and tell your mother, sisters, friends, and colleagues to do the same! Together, we can win!

How you can help:

The Marie Keating Foundation has lots of activities going on during October and lots of ways that you can join in the fight against breast cancer:

Breast cancer awareness packs- if you would like a free breast cancer awareness pack with information about how to become more breast aware, please email, call 01 628 3728 or drop into the lingerie section of any Marks & Spenser store.

Sleep Pink- This is the fourth year of our pink partnership with Harvey Norman. A percentage from the sale of all items in the Harvey Norman Sleep Pink range, which includes mattresses, divans, pillows and more, will be donated to the Foundation. As part of Sleep Pink month, mobile units from the Marie Keating Foundation will visit Harvey Norman stores nationwide, distributing information and promoting breast health awareness. Look out for the Harvey Norman Sleep Pink supplement in the Daily Mail this October which will include advise on getting a good night’s sleep as well as pointers on how to ensure that you are getting enough rest while going through cancer treatment from Prof  Walter McNicholas.

Road Rocking Choc Choc Block from Brodericks- The Marie Keating Foundation is thrilled that Broderick Brothers are donating 10c of each Road Rocking Choc Choc Block bar sold to us. It’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet but we all need to allow ourselves the occasional treat so this is the perfect sweet and pink option that also supports us in our cancer awareness mission.

Re/Max Walk for Life- This 5km non-competitive event, which is open to walkers and runners, will take place in the Phoenix Park at 10.30am on Sunday, 5 October and registration costs €15, with the full amount going to the Marie Keating Foundation to help raise awareness of cancer and the importance of healthy lifestyle choices in cancer prevention.

The Marie Keating Breast Cancer Awareness Month Forum for patients, families, survivors and health professionals- This seminar is on from 10am-12pm, Monday, 13 October 2014 in Newman House, 85 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2. Speakers include:

Dr. Janice Walshe, Consultant Medical Oncologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital & Tallaght Hospital, on ‘Breast Cancer Aware and Care’- Treatments available and new advances

Marie Murphy, Consultant Exercise & Nutrition Specialist and former Irish Olympian, on the importance of exercise & nutrition for cancer recovery

Sinead Lynch, Psycho-oncologist, on Compassionate Care                                                          

 Liz Yeates, Director at The Marie Keating Foundation and breast cancer survivor on the next steps in the fight against breast cancer


This is a free event but places are limited. Please register by emailing


 Hold a Girls Night In-Catch up with the girls and help the Marie Keating Foundation raise much needed funds by hosting a night with manicures, or movies, a Come Dine with Me or just a chat. We can provide you with posters, balloons, and fundraising ideas. Contact Fiona at or call 01 628 3728 for more information.

Give your bra for breast cancer-The campaign which is proudly supported by Roche will see the Marie Keating Foundation receive €1 for every bra donated throughout October. For a list of drop off points,


Domini Kemp- The Marie Keating Foundation’s newest ambassador

We are delighted to announce that Domini Kemp, chef, author, entrepreneur, and breast cancer survivor, is now also a Marie Keating Foundation Ambassador. Domini and her daughter Lauren joined us in Marks and Spencer to kick off our Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities and to help spread the word that we should all “look after your girls.”

Here, Domini tells us a little about her breast cancer journey:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer, nearly two years ago, at the age of 41. Life was busy and I was flying around being a mum to my two daughters, looking after our cafes and restaurants with my sister, Peaches, and also writing recipes for my weekly newspaper column.

I discovered a small, hard lump in one of my breasts. I went to the GP to get it checked out and she referred me on to BreastCheck. Sadly, in the meantime, our mum passed away from Parkinson’s disease so it was a really scary, awful time. I had found the lump the week before she passed away and then had to visit the breast clinic the week after, so everything happened all at once.

The breast clinic did a biopsy on my lump and this revealed that I had a small tumor. However, further tests revealed a second tumor which meant we were looking at a programme of chemotherapy,  mastectomy and then radiation. It was horrible to hear that words that every woman dreads- “You have breast cancer.” But at the same time, once you know what you have, you know what you are dealing with and you can begin to make a plan.

I started by having chemotherapy every three weeks. It was pretty grueling, but I tried to stay really hydrated, to keep exercising as much as I could and to support my system nutritionally, in any way I could. The care I received was second to none and even though chemotherapy is harsh on your system, it is extremely effective.


I did everything I could to get “chemo ready.” Obviously, being a chef, a big part of this was food, and eating the best possible diet to help my body cope with what it was going through. Herbs and vegetables that stimulate your immune system and spices like turmeric which are anti-inflammatory were suddenly in every meal I made - when I was up to cooking, that is!

I’ve kept up with the healthy lifestyle because I see it as a really important part of staying healthy and giving my body the best chance to prevent a recurrence. I still juice a lot and I try to take wheatgrass every day. I am not perfect, but I try to eat well 90% of the time.

I know how lucky I am, firstly to have caught my cancer early enough, and secondly, that we live in an age where cancer treatments are progressing all the time, so that being diagnosed with cancer does not have to mean the end.

I am thrilled to be an ambassador for the Marie Keating Foundation. It is a great organisation which is spreading the word far and wide about the importance of cancer awareness and the role a healthy lifestyle plays in cancer prevention.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please support the Marie Keating Foundation. There are lots of ways you can get involved:

Dig out an old bra and drop it off at an Itsa outlet, or another participating location. We are proud to be taking part in the Marie Keating Foundation’s Bras for Breast Cancer appeal. For every bra you donate, the Marie Keating Foundation will receive €1. This campaign is proudly supported by Roche Products (Ireland) Limited.

Attend one of the Marie Keating Foundation’s events over October:

o   Re/Max Walk For Life, Phoenix Park, Sunday, 5 October

o   The Palmerstown Pink Walk, Dublin 20, Saturday, 18 October

The Marie Keating Breast Cancer Awareness Month Seminar, Monday, October 13th

Donate €2 to the Marie Keating Foundation’s fight against cancer by texting MARIE to 50300.

100% of the text cost goes to the Marie Keating Foundation, across most network  providers. Some providers apply VAT, which means a minimum of €1.74 will go to Marie Keating Foundation. Service provider LIKECHARITY 01 4433890

Most importantly, take part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month by becoming more breast aware and by looking after your girls! Talk to your sisters, daughters, friends and mother about the importance of breast awareness and encourage and remind each other to keep up the good habit! Working together to beat cancer through awareness, education and support services  

Following their mother Marie’s death in 1998 from breast cancer, the Keating family promised to try to provide all women and their families with vital information which could help them to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest stages.  Their collective aim was to “enlighten not frighten”.   The Marie Keating Foundation is now a leading voice in cancer awareness and information for both men and women in Ireland. Read more About us


Marie's Story 

Cancer had always been that word you don’t mention. It was referred to as the Big C and you always thought “this is it I am going to die”.   Our Mam, Marie Keating, was diagnosed with breast cancer on Wednesday 25th September 1996. Her world and our world fell apart that day……..READ MORE



Why you can trust us

The Marie Keating Foundation, founded by the Keating Family in 1998, has evolved over the years to become a professional organisation which is run like a successful business where efficiency, accountability and transparency are key. Our financial accounts, which are independently audited, are available in our Annual Report-  always available for download from here.


Donations are received and managed with the highest level of professionalism and accountability and in strict adherence to the Commitment to Standards in Fundraising Practice and our Donor Charter . Further evidence to our commitment to sectoral codes are detailed here:

Public Compliance Statement 

Handling Feedback and Complaints 

Disclosure Statement 


Thank you for your support

In 2013, thanks to your generosity, the Marie Keating Foundation raised €1,014,196 (€853,071 in cash and €161,125 in services in kind)*.

Of the costs of charitable activities (€840,140)  we spent these valued funds as follows:

-          Cancer Awareness & Outreach Services: €784,400

-          Comfort Fund Grants: €45,900

-          Young Scientist Bursary: €9,840


€784,400was invested in running our nationwide Mobile Health Information and Community Outreach Service. During 2013, our nurses delivered our cancer education and support services through 371 community and workplace visits and interacted directly with 14,186 people.  GP referrals were made for 221 people. Through our 5 Cancer Awareness Campaigns, (Look After your Girls Breast Cancer: Get Men Talking Men’s Health; Cervical Cancer; Skin Cancer and Your Health Your Choice campaigns), important targeted messaging has been delivered to the public through a variety of channels and media.


€45,900went towards helping people through our Comfort Fund

Our Comfort Fund helps men and women all over Ireland who are struggling financially as a result of their cancer diagnosis. Support was given to 102 people (and their families) who asked for our assistance to alleviate the extra stress caused by mounting household bills, additional childcare fees and transport costs while they were going through their treatment. This fund is designed to give some comfort to people when they need it most so that they can concentrate on fighting their cancer.


€9,840was allocated for a Young Scientist bursary as part of our commitment to supporting those working in the area of cancer research.


Cost of generating funds was 20% of turnover

Cost of charitable activities was 83% of turnover

Overhead expenses were 7% of turnover


Impact of our work

Your support enabled us to reach directly interact with 14,186 through our cancer awareness and support services in in 2013. Thanks to you, hundreds of thousands of people throughout Ireland received vital information about prevention and early detection through our media campaigns and awareness initiatives. Through your generosity, we could also focus some of our attention on special interest groups nationwide such as those working with the intellectually disabled, schools and traveller groups.


With your help we can fulfil our mission

Like many other charities in Ireland, there are no inflated salaries, bonuses or company cars at Marie Keating Foundation. The Foundation relies exclusively on fundraising to continue to provide its services as we do not receive any government funding. It is thanks to your support that we are able to fulfil our mission of‘Making cancer less frightening by enlightening’, by providing cancer awareness and support services to thousands of people in Ireland every year. We hope that you will be reassured that we make every effort to ensure we adhere to best practice in our governance standards. If you have any queries please email Liz Yeates, Director of Public Affairs (  or Michael Dwyer, Chairman (


Governance & Compliance

Our financial accounts, which are independently audited, are available in our Annual Report-  always available for download from here.(*2013 audited accounts will be published at end of June 2014)


The organisation, which has recently completed a governance review, is committed to complying with the Principles of Good Governance under the Governance Code. We also adhere to the ICTR’s Fundraising Code of Practice and comply with the Statement of Guiding Principles of Fundraising.


We adhere to best practice in the following respects:

·         Making information freely available and transparent to the public at all times

·         Adopting an honest and open approach on all fundraising activities

·         Providing a clear assurance to donors that their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given

·         Ensuring there is no misleading or ambiguous information in fundraising communications



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