Winner, winner alright as thousands of pink rubber ducks race down the Liffey to help fight breast cancer

Public adopt rubber ducks for Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation

Martina McDonagh from Naas, Co Kildare owned the winning duck and won a luxury weekend stay in the Conrad Hotel Dublin

Dublin, 23 October 2016: Thousands of pink rubber ducks raced down the River Liffey in Dublin today as part of the Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. The 3,000 ducks had been adopted as part of a fundraising effort by the cancer foundation with duck #1,130 crossing the finish line first at the Matt Talbot Bridge and winning its owner, Martina McDonagh from Naas, Co Kildare a luxury weekend at the Conrad Hotel Dublin. The race was adjudicated by Deloitte who recorded that winning Duck #1,130 finished the 300m course in a time of 56 minutes. The Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race raised funds for Marie Keating Foundation’s breast cancer programmes and services including its Positive Living programme for women with metastatic breast cancer.

Speaking at the finish line of the Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation, Linda Keating, Director of Fundraising, the Marie Keating Foundation, said, “This was a fun, pink event but it had a serious cause at its heart. One in ten women in Ireland will get breast cancer in their lifetime so events like this make a real difference in helping us raise the funds we need to keep our awareness services going and to support women and families that are already affected by the disease. Thanks to everyone that adopted a duck in the Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race we have already started a Positive Living course that is supporting women with metastatic breast cancer to cope with the physical, emotional and practical impact of their illness.”

Around 2,900 women in Ireland are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The 5 year survival for all breast cancer patients in Ireland is greater than 80%. However, for those diagnosed at the metastatic stage it is less than 20%. Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, in which cancer has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body.  Up to 30% of women with early breast cancer can subsequently progress to metastatic disease. While there have been advances in breast cancer therapy, for the vast majority of patients, metastatic breast cancer currently remains incurable.

Also speaking at the finish line of the Pfizer Powering Pink Duck Race in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation was Michael Riordan, Oncology Lead with Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, who said, “Pfizer is delighted to support the Powering Pink fundraising initiative by the Marie Keating Foundation in order to help raise awareness of the needs of patients with breast cancer and particularly metastatic breast cancer.  Over the last few decades there has been significant progress and awareness of the needs of breast cancer patients and we now need to elevate the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients. Today’s duck race on the River Liffey has certainly raised public awareness and we look forward to a future where metastatic breast cancer patients are adequately supported.”

Helen Forristal, Director of Nursing Services at the Marie Keating Foundation, said, “While more and more women are surviving breast cancer, the fight is far from over. One of the most important things that a woman can do for her own health is to be aware of how her breasts look and feel normally, so that if anything begins to change, she will notice and can talk to her GP straight away. This October, become more breast aware and ensure that you look and feel for changes every month.”

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