On average, the Mater’s Emergency Department sees four homeless people per day looking for help. Witness to the devastating effects on people’s health and well being, the Social Care Dept. in the Mater has recently had funding granted towards providing special care packs for homeless individuals.

With tracksuit bottoms, hoodies, t-shirts and a waterproof bag, the care packs meet the most basic needs of the people that present themselves to the Mater. The Irish Prison Service assisted with this initiative, offering to assemble the packs so that they were ready for distribution.

Governer of Arbour Hill, Liam Dowling, stated; “We all have a responsibility to play a part and contribute to the solution of the this serious problem. The Irish Prison Service are happy to support any initiative which will alleviate this crisis in our society. The offenders under my charge get great satisfaction from their participation in this initiative which makes a positive contribution to helping others.”

Aoife Ryan, Social Worker in the Mater added; “The offer of warm and dry clothing goes a long way towards treating our patients with respect, dignity and compassion. I have witnessed patient’s demeanor change almost instantly from that of defensiveness to one of genuine gratitude and appreciation. We have to continue to provide our most vulnerable patient group with support for their basic needs.”

Pictured below with the new homeless packs is Niall Dawson, Irish Prison Service, with Aoife Ryan and Amanda Casey from the Social Care Dept, Mater Hospital.

On Wednesday, 6th March, the Mater Hospital hosted a commemorative event marking the 200th HIPEC (Heated Intra-Peritoneal Chemotherapy) procedure given to cancer patients in Ireland. Alongside this, was the roll out of this significant service to women with advanced stage ovarian cancer.

Invited by Ireland East Hospital Group, international speakers included Professor Brendan Moran from the UK and Professor Willemien Van Driel from the National Cancer Institute.

Over 200 Cytoreductive Surgery (CRS) combined with HIPEC procedures have been carried out at the Mater Hospital since repatriation from the UK in 2013. This milestone marks a significant development in healthcare, and going forward, it will have an incredible impact on women’s cancer treatment.

Since September 2018, ten women with ovarian cancer have receive the treatment. The Mater Foundation is very proud to support this significant advance in healthcare, and going forward, we aspire to continue to support the Mater Hospital in bringing world class treatment to public patients.

Transforming Cancer Surgical Care

The campaign for a Robotic Surgical Programme

 

The Mater Hospital aims to bring a Robotic Surgical Programme to public patients in Ireland.  The preferred practice globally, robotic assisted surgery will enable our surgeons to perform complex procedures with more accuracy, control, and precision.

Our campaign ‘Transforming Cancer Surgical Care’ will provide a €5 million Robotic Surgical Programme that will allow the Hospital to advance the service it provides to all patients. We have the surgical expertise in place to utilise robotic surgery immediately. We need your help to make this a reality.

The success of this campaign will enable the most comprehensive Robotic Surgical Programme in Ireland, encompassing a high volume of surgeries across multiple disciplines through:

  • Phase 1: The purchasing of a robot
  • Phase 2: Delivering a robotic surgical unit
  • Phase 3: Developing a teaching and training centre.

Investing in this €5 million Robotic Surgical Programme will have a profound impact on our patients, allowing them a faster and better recovery and return to daily life and family. With your support we can deliver equity, efficiency, and excellent cancer patient care.

 

 

Breast Cancer Survivor App

A new album featuring some of Ireland’s most prolific country singers has recently launched, in memory of Ciarán Maree. The youngest of six children from Navan, Co Meath, Ciarán passed away in September 2007, just ten weeks after he was diagnosed with a very rare, progressive form of cancer. He was just 25 years-old.

Following the devastating loss of their son and brother, the Maree family set up the Ciarán Maree Cancer Research and Development Fund, in association with The Mater Foundation. Their aim was to raise money to improve cancer treatments and patient care in the Mater Hospital, where Ciarán was treated.

They have succeeded in raising a phenomenal amount, with almost €400,000 raised in over a decade. Featuring a host of renowned Irish artists, with the inclusion of an original track by Fergal Flaherty entitled ‘The Ballad of Ciaránín Óg’, the album reflects the Ciarán’s powerful and much loved legacy.

On the 19th of September 2018, St. Monica’s Ward Family Room was officially declared open in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. Thanks to the phenomenal support of people like you, there are now 13 new Family Rooms across the different wards of the Mater Hospital.

The Family Room is a vital space for critically ill patients and their families, offering a place of calm and comfort, particularly at a palliative stage of illness. The rooms give families a peaceful place to talk, speak to their loved one’s doctors, or just catch a breath away from the bustle of a public hospital ward setting.

We had the pleasure of welcoming several guests to the opening, including The Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Ms Olena Shaloput, Chairperson of the International Charity Bazaar, and Mr Declan McCourt.

A special thanks must be extended towards the International Charity Bazaar and Jaguar Land Rover Ireland – both made wonderfully generous donations which enabled the opening of this crucial resource.

 

“It began with a cold sore that wouldn’t clear up, and then bruising on my legs. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went to the doctor on a Monday. On Tuesday morning I got a phone call to come in. This is when I learned I had leukaemia. When I was referred to the Mater for chemotherapy, I kept thinking they’d made a mistake. When I realised that I was in for the fight of my life, I was determined to get back home okay.”

After a diagnosis of leukaemia, a life-threatening cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system, Patricia Clarke spent four months in hospital fighting off the disease. Her ailing body endured three rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

“I would have bad days where I’d feel sorry for myself. But my way out of them was to go to the hospital bathroom and start giving out to myself in the mirror! I’d tell myself, ‘you can cry, or you can fight this and get better’. I shook myself out of feeling scared.”

With the threat of infection and a severely weakened immune system, Patricia received her care as an in-patient in the Mater’s hospital ward. Over the weeks, she grew very close to her medical team who would sometimes stay with her after their shifts had finished.

“One of the days I had a bad reaction, a seizure, and my nurse stayed with me until quarter to ten. She was meant to have finished at eight. Her poor husband was out in the car waiting for her for two hours. My own husband Nick was also with me almost every day, and my daughter Lindsey. The Mater has family rooms for visitors, and we’d go in there away from the noise of the ward. I’d eat crackers and marmalade and we’d have a cup of tea. Those moments were hugely important to me.”

The road to recovery

Thanks to the tremendous care that Patricia received in the Mater, her blood tests started to improve after her chemotherapy treatment, and she was eligible for a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Patricia left the Mater Hospital on the 8th of January 2018, equipped with a new sense of appreciation for life. A regular visitor to the Mater for medical check-ups, Patricia has often shared advice to newly diagnosed cancer patients.

“Sandra, the clinical nurse manager, asked if I could come in and talk to a young mother who’d just received the news. She was distraught. She asked me if I thought she’d survive it. I told her never to doubt it. Never doubt that you’ll survive cancer. Focus only on getting better for your child and yourself.”

If you’d like to support the Mater Foundation and make a real and lasting difference to people like Patricia, you can take on a challenge to raise funds for patient care. Learn more or make an inquiry by clicking on this link.

We’re delighted to announce the winners of the Mater Foundation Summer Raffle 2018!

We asked for your support to help improve cancer patient services in the Mater Hospital. As demands on these services are increasing year on year, urgent funding is required to continue investing in state-of-the-art medical equipment and vital patient-focused care.

We are overwhelmed by the level of support we received. The winners are:

  • 1st Prize of €5,000: Jackie Downes, Co. Dublin
  • 2nd Prize of €1,000: Catherine Grennan, Co. Offaly
  • Seller’s Prize of €1,000: Helen, Co Dublin

Congratulations to all of our raffle winners, and thank you to everyone who participated for your incredible support. It means so much to every patient who depends on the Mater Hospital for life saving treatment and care.

Thanks to your amazing efforts, vital funds raised enables us to continue to invest in ground-breaking research as well as state of the art medical equipment.  Our patients deserve the best care possible and research is an important part of the world class patient care at the Mater that you help make possible.

Alan Kelly’s (‘the great AK’) story of survival from cancer is a remarkable one. Currently in remission from a four year battle with both prostate cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia, he counts every new day as a blessing.

Initially diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014, Alan was put in the care of a medical oncologist, Professor John McCaffrey at the Mater Hospital. Following the care he received there, Alan organised a hugely successful charity evening centred on ‘The Importance of Resilience’ on July 12th.

He raised a phenomenal €3,000, presented to the Mater Foundation on July 30th.

“My motto now is ‘Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain,'” he says with a smile. I don’t know, no more than anybody else knows, what’s ahead. All I do know is that I’m very high-risk; that I’ve had two life-threatening cancers and I’m walking around on fumes today my bloods are so weak.

My leukaemia is gone but for how long who knows? But then who knows anything? There’s no doubt I’m a walking miracle. The point about this is, you must fight. If you think you can overcome something, there’s always a chance that you will. And remember this. Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”

Alan continues to receive care in the Mater Hospital, equipped with an unrelenting resilience that helps carry him through his treatment.

Due to the large number of tickets returned for our summer raffle, the draw date has been extended to ensure that all tickets can be processed and entered into the draw.

The draw will now take place on Friday, August 10th at 14:30. If you have not already returned your tickets, there is still time.

Urgent funding is needed for ground-breaking breast cancer research to help people like Caitríona Plunkett who was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer shortly after her 35th birthday. Caitríona is just one example of the many people you will be helping by supporting our summer raffle.

Every ticket sold will make a big difference. Your support will bring us one step closer to making vital breakthroughs in breast cancer treatment. Please do all that you can. And don’t forget to send back your ticket stubs and funds today in the freepost envelope provided with your raffle tickets .

Thank you so much for the difference you are making for every cancer patient who depends on the Mater Hospital for life saving treatment. Your support means so much to them.

Thank you to all of the supporters who participated in the Mater Foundation’s volunteer stand Spring Raffle 2018. The tickets have been collected and we are happy to announce that we have a winner!

Congratulations to Mary Flynn of Co. Longford, who was the lucky recipient of a fantastic prize from Buff Day Spa, Dublin.

Mater Foundation volunteer Michael Dowling, pictured below in the Whitty Wing in the Mater Hospital, drew the winning ticket.

We want to thank everybody who bought a raffle ticket. Your support is invaluable, with funds raised going directly to vital services for the patients of the Mater Hospital, helping us to achieve our goal of advancing care for every patient, every day.

Learn more about different ways to support the Mater Foundation here