THESE two breast cancer survivors are determined to do all they can to help raise money to help other sufferers.
Not content with running their own fundraising group, A Hint of Pink, friends Ruth Boardman and Rena Shanahan have now signed up as ambassadors for the local hospital trust’s fundraising arm, Blues Skies.
The Blue Skies Ambassadors will be featured in a series of videos on www.blueskieshospitalsfund.org.uk and charity magazine Enhance to help encourage more people in the community to raise money.
Ruth, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, said: “I was honoured to be asked to be a Blue Skies Ambassador.
“We started off doing things quietly for us, and we were amazed at how things snowballed.
“It would be nice for other people to get involved and raise funds for Blue Skies.
“They don’t have to think of anything big – maybe a coffee evening at home and get friends to pay for their cakes and things like that.
“Every little helps and is used and appreciated.
“Rena and I came up with A Hint of Pink to raise funds for Blue Skies, and we also volunteer in the Breast Care Centre.
“We decided we would do a dinner dance last year and raised £7,500.
“It was such a success we are going to hold another one this year.
“We’ve already bought quite a lot of equipment for the unit, but the biggest one was the chair mammography wanted.
“We’ve also bought bits to make the unit more homely, and hopefully help to put patients at ease through a difficult and traumatic time.
“We wanted to raise money for Blue Skies to provide the little extras and trimmings for the patients.
“What I find amazing is people’s generosity. We’ve had a lot of help.
“Rena and I knew each other from years ago because we were both ward sisters, and we have come back together through our breast cancer and developed a good friendship.
“The best part of being a fundraiser is doing things for other people, making friends and having fun, because most of the time we have a lot of fun.”
Rena – who discovered she had breast cancer on her 65th birthday, nearly four years ago – added: “We’d like to pay back as much as we can and do as much as possible for the Breast Care Unit, because they’ve done so much for us.
“I developed breast cancer four years ago now and I hadn’t been home from hospital long when Ruth knocked on my door.
“We found out we lived round the corner from each other and she’d been through it just before me.
“She was my pillar. We got together and we decided we needed to pay somebody back for the treatment we’d received from oncology and breast care.
“We’ve raised around £11,000 in about 18 months, which has gone a long way, but we’ve not finished yet.
“We do everything together and bounce off one another as well, and you’ve got to pinch yourself you’ve raised that much.
“It’s a great honour to be a Blue Skies Ambassador. If people want to get in touch with us for advice on how to get started or anything we are only too happy to help.”
Tickets for Hint of Pink’s dinner dance, which takes place on November 10, at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, will be on sale shortly.
For more information or for tickets, call Rena on (01253) 896419.
To view the Blue Skies Ambassadors DVDs go to http://www.blueskieshospitalsfund.co.uk/supporters.asp.