“I just felt so helpless when mum died – but she would be so proud to have the cancer foundation in her name,” says Ronan Keating
25 years ago, on February 2, 1998, Marie Keating died of breast cancer at the age of 51.
Until she was rocked by her devastating loss, her family founded the Marie Keating Foundation — and today they reflect on how much her mother is still a part of her life and how she would feel about what they have achieved.
“In some ways it feels like Mum wasn’t that long ago, but in other ways it feels like forever,” says their son, singer Ronan Keating.
“I have many wonderful and very strong memories – of how she picked me up from the airport when I came home from a trip with Boyzone. Or the boys who met at my house so she could make them breakfast before we left – their sausage rolls became legendary. Mum always had a great way of making you feel like everything would be fine no matter what it was.
“I miss her so much and it still breaks my heart that she wasn’t able to get to know any of my children, especially those moments when I’m just with them — like cuddling on the couch or lying next to them to fall asleep.” .
“One of my fondest memories is when she told me how, as a baby, she wasted so many hours of her day just lying on the bed with me and playing or watching me sleep.
“She would be so proud of the foundation and the wonderful people who work there. They do a great job of supporting people and their families on a cancer journey. Who would have thought that after 25 years we would still be doing this?”
Ronan said that having started the foundation by fundraising for three mobile units after feeling “helpless” when Marie passed away, he is humbled by how much the team has accomplished over the years.
“We’ve come a long way in 25 years, but we know there’s still such a long way to go with this disease,” he said.
“I just want to thank everyone who works at the Marie Keating Foundation, our nurses and the entire team who work so hard and are so dedicated to what they do, all on behalf of our mother. They really are amazing people and I’m proud of them all.”
Ronan’s sister, Linda, is the executive director and co-founder of the foundation. She misses her mother dearly, but finds some comfort in what they have accomplished on her behalf.
“Mom was my idol. I loved the ground she walked on and always did what I could to please her, so I guess I still do,” Linda said. “We’ve come this far in 25 years, but it wasn’t an easy journey and it took a long time for us to be taken seriously.
“We were just another family who lost a loved one to cancer, but we were determined to do something to prevent other families from suffering this terrible, heartbreaking loss.
“The Marie Keating Foundation has become a leading voice on cancer in Ireland. This is thanks to the amazing people who worked with me and my family and shared their knowledge and belief in what we wanted to do.
“It fills us all with great pride to see how the foundation has developed. I’m so proud of our sisters and the whole team – and it’s very special that it’s all in our mom’s name.
“But there is still more work for us to do as so many patients and families need our services. We are a cog in a very large wheel and we are honored to be able to do what we can.”
CEO Liz Yeates says everyone at the foundation is working towards the same goal, with many, including herself, having had first-hand experience with cancer.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/i-just-felt-so-helpless-when-mum-died-but-she-would-be-so-proud-of-the-cancer-foundation-in-her-name-says-ronan-keating-42324008.html “I just felt so helpless when mum died – but she would be so proud to have the cancer foundation in her name,” says Ronan Keating