8th July 1995

Maggies Centres founder Maggie Keswick Jencks dies

Dumfreisshire-born garden designer Maggie Keswick Jencks founded Maggies Centres, to support cancer patients and their families. She was herself diagnosed with cancer with breast cancer at the age of 47, and received treatment, which was initially successful. However, her cancer returned five years later, and she died on 8 July 1995, aged 53.

Because of the way she was given the news of her cancer’s return, and her terminal diagnosis, Maggie and her husband, artist Charles Jencks, resolved to find ways to improve the experience not only for patients, but their families, going forward. The result was to be a network of cancer caring centres, called Maggies Centres.

The first Centre opened in Edinburgh the year after her death, in a striking stable block conversion, reflecting the fact that Maggie and Charles believed in the power of architecture to improve the human experience.

This was to establish a pattern of designing engaging buildings for each of the Centres, with Dundee’s Centre being the first building in the UK to be designed by Canada-born architect Frank Gehry.

There are now several Centres across Scotland, as well as England, Wales, and Hong Kong. Maggie Keswick Jencks’ oncology nurse, Laura Lee, became Maggie’s CEO.

Alongside Mary Slessor, Maggie Keswick Jencks was one of the first two women to appear in the Hall of Heroes at the National Wallace Monument.



Other events that occured in July

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