‘Out the Other Side’ captures real life stories of breast cancer survivors. Developed by Roche in partnership with the Marie Keating Foundation, the initiative aims to offer encouragement to cancer survivors and those living with the disease.
There are currently almost 28,000 women in Ireland who have survived breast cancer. Since 1987, the number of women who have died from breast cancer has decreased by almost a third. In women less than 50 years of age, it has dropped by almost half.
Despite clinical advances, breast cancer stories are still often rooted in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. The ‘Out the Other Side’ campaign aims to highlight how advances in treatment are enabling more and more women to survive breast cancer than ever before
This campaign captures the real-life stories and photographs of ten Irish women, who have survived breast cancer. It was initially displayed through a unique exhibition installed in St. Stephen’s Green Park, Dublin, during October 2015, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Watch a video about this moving exhibition, below.
Following the success of the Dublin exhibition, it has been decided to take this unique information campaign around Ireland. The hope is that the stories shared will be a source of comfort and hope to people all over the country at various stages of their cancer journey. It has since been in display in University Hospital Galway and it currently being exhibited in the Whitty Building in the Mater Hospital Dublin until 12 May 2016. Future venues will follow.
Roche and the Marie Keating Foundation hope the Out the Other Side initiative will encourage cancer survivors to seek help and support, understand how cancer has affected them and give them the tools to rebuild and enjoy their lives. If you or a loved one are a cancer survivor and would like support, please see our Survive and Thrive page for information on upcoming free survivorship courses.
About the women in Out the Other Side
All of the ten women featured in Out the Other Side have survived breast cancer and have benefited from the services offered by the Marie Keating Foundation in some way. All of the women featured are also living proof that it is possible not only to come out the other side of a breast cancer diagnosis, but to thrive and grow after it.
They participated in this initiative to help us highlight that beating breast cancer is not the end of the journey for survivors. Overcoming the physical threat is merely the first step. Just as important is the advancement to rise above the psychological challenge, to cement recovery and learn to once again thrive and lead a fulfilling life.
Each story captured in the exhibition comprised of three elements: a shared personal experience of surviving breast cancer; a photograph of each survivor as they are today; and a photograph shared by these women that they feel represents their ‘survivorship milestone’, essentially, what surviving breast cancer has meant to each of these women.
The emotional nature of the survivor’s stories varied from elation to anti-climax, happiness to sadness and were infused with humour and irreverence, guilt, gratitude and confusion. This was an important factor in the concept of the campaign because just like breast cancer no survivor’s journey is the same.
It was therefore imperative that the actual telling of the stories was handled with compassion and sensitivity. The striking images for the exhibition were captured by acclaimed Irish photographer Gerry Andrews, whose personal experience of losing his wife 11 years ago to this devastating disease drove him to get involved.
His outstanding images proved the perfect companions for the vivid words of specialist medical writer, Dawn O’Shea, who helped bring the emotive stories to life in a compassionate manner.
If you or a loved one is a cancer survivor and would like advice and support, please visit our Survive and Thrive page to see if there are any upcoming free courses or workshops in your area.