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Feb 22, 2022

What happened in 1995 when a 30 year old Clinical Oncology Nurse Specialist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland gave chemotherapy to her breast cancer patient named Maggie Keswick Jencks? How did this immediate friendship lead to 24 Maggie’s centers in NHS hospitals across the UK, and three independently run international centers, 26 years later?

On Part 1 of today’s episode, Cheryl interviews Dame Laura Lee, DBE, Chief Executive of Maggie's--Everyone’s Home for Cancer Care. Maggie’s is a special story shared here through Cheryl and Laura’s deeply rich and meaningful conversation.

Learn how Laura and Maggie became friends, and prior to Maggie’s passing in 1995, had created architectural plans for the first Maggie’s center in the UK. How did Laura make the transition from Clinical Oncology Nurse Specialist to becoming the first employee of Maggie’s? How did she learn about architecture and design, and how did she attract the attention of famous architects, like Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, and Renzo Piano to design Maggie's centers?

Sit back, relax and enjoy this deeply nourishing conversation about how two women with a mission to transform cancer care for patients, their families and caregivers attracted the attention of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall who, in November 2008, became Maggie’s President. 

Learn more about Dame Laura Lee and Maggie’s by visiting:

Maggie's architectural brief is given to every architect who designs a Maggie's center. Learn more here:

In Part 1 of Cheryl’s conversation with Dame Laura Lee, they discuss:

  • What was Laura Lee’s life like prior to meeting Maggie Keswick Jencks, her oncology patient in 1995 who would be the catalyst for Maggie’s?
  • What happened when Laura met Maggie in 1995, when she was thirty years old, and working as a Clinical Oncology Nurse Specialist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland? 
  • What was it about that connection with Maggie that inspired both Laura and Maggie to take action to create the first Maggie’s?
  • What was Laura’s transition like from being an oncology nurse to learning about architecture and design, and getting architects to help build Maggies?
  • What makes Maggies different from other cancer care facilities in the UK and in the world?

The world is changing quickly. The Center for Health Design is committed to providing the healthcare design and senior living design industries with the latest research, best practices and innovations. The Center can help you solve today’s biggest healthcare challenges and make a difference in care, safety, medical outcomes, and the bottom line.  Find out more at

Additional support for this podcast comes from our industry partners:

  • The American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers
  • The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design

Learn more about how to become a Certified Healthcare Interior Designer®  by visiting the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers at:

Connect to a community interested in supporting clinician involvement in design and construction of the built environment by visiting The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design at


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