UHG - first hospital in the country to host breast cancer survivor exhibition

Liz Yeates, Marie Keating Foundation & Ciara Conlan, Kildare at the launch of Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust’s latest exhibition - "Out the Other Side - Stories of Breast Cancer Survival" on Monday.  Photo: Joe Travers.

Liz Yeates, Marie Keating Foundation & Ciara Conlan, Kildare at the launch of Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust’s latest exhibition - "Out the Other Side - Stories of Breast Cancer Survival" on Monday. Photo: Joe Travers.

University Hospital Galway is the first hospital in the country to host an inspiring exhibition which features the stories of 10 breast cancer survivors.

The event, which is taking place at the Arts Corridor, on the ground floor of the hospital and will run until April 4, is a collection of individual stories and photographs of Irish women who have survived the condition.

"Out the Other Side" Stories of Breast Cancer Survival will tour Ireland over the coming months, having received national attention last year. The exhibition was developed to offer encouragement to other breast cancer survivors and women living with the disease in Ireland.

The installation, which has been developed by Roche, the world's largest biotech company in partnership with the Marie Keating Foundation, was launched at the regional hospital on Monday.

The exhibition features the stories of 10 women, each comprising three elements: a shared personal experience of surviving breast cancer; a photograph of each survivor as she is today; and a photograph which each of these women feels represents their survivorship milestone, essentially, what surviving breast cancer has meant for each of them.

The exhibition was first held in St Stephen’s Green park in Dublin for the duration of October last year, which is breast cancer awareness month.

Dr Silvie Blazkova, a consultant medical oncologist at University Hospital Galway, says advancements in treatments for breast cancer are enabling more women than ever before to survive the disease.

"This is why I was pleased for our oncology ward to be the first hospital to host this exhibition. I believe it will empower some of our patients who are going through treatment and hopefully highlight how, more than ever before, you can come out the other side of breast cancer."

According to the Marie Keating Foundation, there are currently more than 28,000 women in Ireland who have survived breast cancer. However, this does not mean the end of the journey and for many women what happens after breast cancer is a challenge in itself.

The striking photography included in the exhibition was captured by acclaimed Irish photographer Gerry Andrews who lost his wife to breast cancer.

"I lost my wife to this devastating disease 11 years ago – if she had been diagnosed today, the chances are that with the huge advances in research and development of new medicines, she would come out the other side. I wanted to contribute in whatever way I could to highlight the issue. Three of my late wife's sisters are also survivors of breast cancer and I myself am currently being treated for a very rare blood cancer (multiple myeloma ). I felt I could identify with the many challenges faced by woman who receive a breast cancer diagnoses and was pleased to be involved in this campaign."

• Cancer Care West supports people affected by a cancer diagnosis. It is based at Seamus Quirke Road and can be contacted at (091 ) 540040.

 

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