Marie Keating Foundation launches ‘Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival’ to showcase real Irish men
Former rugby international Tony Ward, GAA legend Sean Boylan and former RTE broadcaster Michael Murphy were joined by 12 other prostate cancer survivors today to help the Marie Keating Foundation launch a new exhibition which aims to give hope and support to men affected by prostate cancer. Through ‘Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival’ each of the 15 men have shared the story of their diagnoses, treatment and survival for a disease which over 3,400 men are diagnosed with each year in Ireland. The Marie Keating Foundation developed the exhibition of real-life stories and photographs with the support of Astellas Oncology to highlight that while being diagnosed with prostate cancer will change your life, there is life after prostate cancer. The ‘Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival’ will be on display in Connolly Station and Houston Station in Dublin until mid-January 2017. The exhibition will be then tour sporting and hospital venues nationwide throughout 2017. ‘Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival’ is also available to view online at www.mariekeating.ie/heroes-of-hope.
Speaking at the launch of Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival,’ Liz Yeates, CEO, the Marie Keating Foundation, said, “While coping with cancer can be difficult, the Marie Keating Foundation is shining a light on these stories of cancer survival to give hope that you can not only survive but thrive after a prostate cancer diagnosis. There are over 26,000 prostate cancer survivors in Ireland. The exhibition tells the stories of 15 of them, from different counties, doing different jobs, and who are of all ages. Each are living proof that early diagnosis, advances in treatment and the strength of the human spirit are making a real difference in our fight against cancer.”
Liz Yeates added, “I would like to express our deepest gratitude and respect for the 15 men who have shared their stories with us. While other health battles are often talked about publically, these issues can sometimes be left in the dark. We are indebted to them for helping to open up the conversation around prostate cancer and its impact.”
“Being diagnosed with prostate cancer was a big shock to the system,” said Tony Ward, former Irish fly-half and one of the Heroes of Hope. “This isn’t because I am a sportsman, but I suppose we all feel we are invincible. Men don’t talk the talk and they certainly don’t walk the walk when it comes to anything health related. We are all very quick to put our car in for a service but we are very slow at doing the same for our bodies.”
Also speaking at the launch was Dr Martina Dempsey, Astellas Oncology, who said “We are delighted to support the Marie Keating Foundation with this powerful initiative. Prostate cancer has one of the best survival rates of all cancers and we hope this exhibition offers hope and comfort to men and their families as they go through diagnosis and treatment.”
The striking photography for Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival was taken by acclaimed photographer Gerry Andrews who is currently undergoing treatment for a rare blood cancer. Each survivor’s story is told in their own words and were compiled after conversation with health writer Danielle Barron.
The Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival exhibition will be on display in Houston and Connolly Station Dublin until the end of January 2017. The exhibition will be then tour sporting and hospital venues nationwide throughout 2017. ‘Heroes of Hope: Stories of prostate cancer survival’ is also available to view online at www.mariekeating.ie/heroes-of-hope