‘A Garden of Hope’ representing almost 30,000 Breast Cancer survivors in Ireland offers inspiration at Bord Bia’s Bloom

A Bra Hammock and a Pink Bench are the stand out features of this thought-provoking garden


‘Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope’, created By the Marie Keating Foundation supported by Roche, is designed to offer hope to people affected by breast cancer


The Marie Keating Foundation supported by Roche today unveiled their medium-sized garden – ‘Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope’ – at Bord Bia’s Bloom. This garden aims to shine a light on cancer survivorship and is inspired by the ‘Out the Other Side: Stories of Breast Cancer Survival’ photographic exhibition, which received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public during its time in St. Stephen’s Green in October of last year.


Designer of the garden and previous Bloom medallist Tünde Szentesi describes the progression of the campaign through her design:

“Instead of using images and words, the garden’s colour scheme symbolises the emotions often experienced by women at various stages of their breast cancer journey. The beginning of the path is lined with dark purple and red foliage, plants and flowers, representing the feelings women may experience when they are first diagnosed or when they face difficulties during treatment. Towards the end of the path, the plants gradually lighten with lots of white appearing at the end as a colour that reflects new beginnings, protection and encouragement. In this way, we hope people leave the garden with a sense of peace, calm, and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets”.


With the original ‘Out the Other Side’ exhibition having already visited University Hospital Galway and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital earlier this year as part of the national roadshow, the ten featured stories of real women who survived breast cancer will now be installed at the main avenue of Bloom, with additional features used in the Garden of Hope designed to further tell the story of survivorship and inspire people going through their own cancer experience.


The stand out features of the garden designed to inspire hope are a Pink Bench as well as a specially created Bra Hammock:

  • The Bra Hammock, designed and created as part of a collaborative project between The National College of Art and Design and The Rediscovery Centre, has been repurposed from bras donated by women all over Ireland as part of the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche’s ‘Give Your Bra for Breast Cancer’ campaign
  • A Pink Bench and Ribbon weave throughout the garden, representing the journey from diagnosis to recovery. On the back wall of the garden, quotes from the ten women featured in the Out the Other Side photographic exhibition are used. They are quotes of elation and anti-climax, which are happy and sad, funny and irreverent, and filled with confusion, guilt and gratitude. Because just like breast cancer, we know that no survivor’s journey is the same.


There are currently close to 30,0001 women in Ireland who have survived breast cancer. But surviving breast cancer doesn’t mean the end of the journey and for many women what happens after breast cancer is a challenge in itself. Liz Yeates, CEO of the Marie Keating Foundation said:

“The prospect of rebuilding your life after something as significant as cancer can be daunting. But with the right support and information, the experience can provide a renewed sense of life and purpose, enabling people to cherish special life moments that at one point may not have seemed possible. Designing a garden with the focus on cancer survival highlights the additional supports available for cancer patients and survivors such as our Survive & Thrive programme and also pays respect to those who sadly succumb to the disease each year. By hosting a garden at Bloom we hope that visitors to our Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope will indeed be inspired by a sense of hope, support and inspiration – particularly those affected by cancer.”


Country Medical Director, Roche Products (Ireland) Limited, Dr Michal Starnawski said:

“As a leading developer of medicines and diagnostics to improve cancer care, we are proud to be part of this ongoing celebration of survivorship throughout Ireland. The exhibition’s national roadshow and the Garden of Hope at Bloom allows us to move the focus away from what is an often scary diagnosis and to continue to highlight the story of survivorship. We would like to express our continued deep and sincere gratitude to all ten women who so graciously shared their stories and their very personal ‘survivorship milestone’ photographs that inspired the garden you see at Bloom”.


As a part of Marie Keating Foundation’s presence at Bloom this year, a nurse and a mobile information unit will be present at the main entrance of Bloom each day. The nurse will be available to speak to both men and women about ways to reduce their risk of cancer and how to spot the signs and symptoms of the disease. For those who wish to celebrate or honour someone affected by cancer, they can buy a pink ribbon for €2 which will be attached to the pink ribbon tribute wall in the garden. Supporters can also text MARIE to 50300 to make a €2 donation*


*100% of text cost goes to MKF across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €1.63 will go to MKF. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY Helpline: (01) 4433890