Chef Neven Maguire opens up about his late mother's death: 'She died of lung cancer and I miss her every day'
Award- winning chef and restaurateur Neven Maguire spoke movingly today of the illness which claimed the life of his mother Vera.
Neven lost is mother to lung cancer four years ago and he is now determined to raise funds for research to improve the chances of other patients who are struck by the illness.
“My mother was my inspiration and encouraged me to cook at a young age. Vera died of lung cancer in 2012, and we miss her every day.”
He is now an ambassador for Target Lung Cancer and will hold the first Neven’s Food Festival, in aid of the charity based in St. James’s Hospital.
The food festival will be held on September 1 next at Clontarf Castle Hotel, where Neven will share some of his culinary expertise, cooking a three-course meal, alongside artisan food stalls, with raffles and prizes.
Speaking at St James’s Hospital he said: ”I have met the dedicated members of the clinical team as well as the scientists. I was very moved when I recently met with some of the patients being treated for lung cancer at St James’. I listened to their positive experiences and saw first hand the great connection that the clinical team have with their patients
St James’ respiratory consultant Finbarr O’ Connell said:”St James’s Hospital is a Cancer Centre of Excellence and is Ireland’s largest lung cancer referral centre.
“We provide rapid access for diagnosis and staging, and complex multidisciplinary treatment for patients from across Ireland. Our surgeons carry out about 50% of the lung cancer surgery for Ireland including complex lung preserving surgery.
“We have dedicated medical oncology for lung cancer and state-of-the-art radiotherapy including stereotactic radiotherapy. Our mission is to provide person-centred best care for every patient with lung cancer.
“Our vision is to make a sustained and significant contribution to efforts by doctors and scientists worldwide to cure patients with lung cancer. For those we can’t cure, our shared aim with our colleagues globally, is to make lung cancer a chronic disease that can be managed effectively while preserving quality of life".
Professor Stephen Finn who is co-director of the Cancer Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at St. James’s Hospital, commented :”“Future progress to identify and develop new markers and therapeutic targets for lung cancer will be made possible through the ongoing support of the internationally recognised lung cancer biobank established at St. James’s Hospital in 2004.
“Maintaining this vital research resource, the largest in the country and one of the largest in Europe, is made possible through the dedication of the entire lung cancer team and the generosity of our patients over the years who have agreed to give tissue samples to the bio-bank, allowing for a unique research resource. We need to develop this bio-bank further and accelerate our capacity to make the necessary breakthroughs for lung cancer treatment.”