Six women who staged a ball for the first time raised more than £7,000 for West Norfolk Breast Care Unit.
Four of the group – known as Treasured Chests – have received treatment at the QEH unit and the event at Lynford Hall in Mundford was a fundraiser to show their appreciation.
The ball in June was such a success for Michelle Mackney, Jeanette Kidd, Kathryn Dunbabin, Eileen Smedmor and her daughters Katy and Nikki that the date for a second one has already been agreed.
Eileen, who had reconstruction work following a mastectomy, said: “Nikki said to me afterwards ‘why don’t you do some fundraising for the unit?’ and the idea for a ball followed.”
The Treasured Chests took just six months to organise the event, which had 155 guests and local band Jessie’s Ghost. A raffle and auction were very well supported with donations by local businesses.
The Team QEH staff member who operated on the four women – consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon Amy Burger – and specialist nurses Elaine Rudd, Gemma Harnwell and Marie Robins all attended.
Eileen, of Downham Market, said: “The breast care unit is so lovely and the treatment you receive is so personal. It doesn’t feel like a hospital. The staff are so good that you want to repay that in some way.
“The other thing we wanted to do was raise awareness. I personally didn’t think I would get breast cancer. We’re encouraging men and women to get themselves checked.”
Miss Burger said: “I don’t know where to start with the thanks for this amazing group of women who have not only undergone treatment for breast cancer, with multiple operations and gruelling treatments, but have found the time to organise this fantastic fund raising event for our Breast Care Unit. They truly are inspirational!
“My brilliant breast care nurses and I were kindly invited to attend the fundraising ball: we all said how rewarding it was to see our patients not in a hospital setting but glammed up for the event, looking amazing and enjoying time with their friends and families – that’s what it’s all about.
“We thank them all so much for raising such an impressive amount – we are putting this towards funding a piece of equipment that we are trialling in the near future in the hospital. This will improve the efficiency for many patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer, with hopefully less waiting before the operation, and more accuracy when removing cancers. Once we have completed the trial of the equipment we will be able to let fundraisers know with certainty what their much appreciated funds are going towards.”
The date for next year’s ball – at Lynford Hall again – is Saturday, June 29.
Photo caption: Consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon Amy Burger accepts the cheque for £7,190.50 from the ball organisers on behalf of The West Norfolk Breast Care Unit
To download the press release and image click here