Breast cancer survivors raise funds for BioVision

The Biovision machine will help reduce the amount of time breast cancer patients spend in surgery, allowing more patients to be seen and waiting times to be reduced.

The Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group is made up of more than 100 women who have all experienced breast cancer first-hand, and now work together to support one another and raise money to benefit other women suffering from the disease.

Fundraising for the machine, whilst very much a team effort, was led by Jane Riley and Bunty Fletcher.

Miss Riley said: "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, at the age of 42, after discovering a lump in my breast. The diagnosis came as a complete shock. I was absolutely horrified – I just thought "This can't be happening to me'. I was terrified that I was going to die.

"I spent three hours at the Nottingham Breast Institute, and thanks to the kindness of the staff, I was given all the information I needed in a way that I could understand it and be able to convey it to others.

"Two weeks later I underwent a mastectomy. Whilst treatment wasn't always pleasant, it was always made bearable by someone offering a kind word, a hug or holding my hand.

"I joined the Breast Cancer Support Group about a year later, and I have met some truly amazing people. I'm now a volunteer at the Breast Institute too and am able to help other people who may be in the same position as I was."

Breast cancer survivors raise funds for BioVision

The group raised an amazing £47,000 in just six months to fund the Biovision machine, which is used to examine specimens removed during breast cancer surgery, to check whether the whole tumour has been removed.

Patients currently have to wait around 20 to 40 minutes during surgery for the specimen to be sent to the Pathology department, tested and the results returned, meaning patients are left waiting on the operating table.

The new machine will be used in the theatre while patients are undergoing surgery, eliminating the long wait for the results, and freeing up more time for the surgeons to see more patients each day.

The group presented the machine to Miss Alache Bello, a Breast Surgery Consultant at the Nottingham Breast Institute, City Hospital, on 17th January 2012.

Miss Bello said: "This machine will allow a more effective use of the theatre and allow us to see more patients, more quickly. You place the sample in the machine and it takes five seconds for it to come up with the results on the screen. It's all done at the push of a button – it's just so simple.

"The Breast Cancer Support Group should be highly commended for raising this amount of money in such a short space of time. It's great that these ladies, who have all had breast cancer themselves, have come together for this great cause."

Miss Riley said: "I hadn't done any fundraising before I joined the support group, but it was great to be involved in raising the £47,000 for the Biovision machine. I was a patient of Miss Bello's, so it was wonderful to be able to give something back by presenting the machine to her."

Fundraiser Mrs Fletcher, of Colston Bassett, explained: "We held a number of events and many people in my village gave money. The local shop, the local pub and even the local kennels all helped! The money has come from local people, and this machine will be used to benefit local people.

"It was amazing how many people got involved. The Belvoir Fundraising Group held a Ladies' Lunch and we organised a Musical Extravaganza and Auction, which was a lot of fun. We also had anonymous donations of £8,000, and £10,000 from Oasis Breast Cancer. The money was raised thanks to people with great ideas, and great generosity."

The Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group previously donated £6,000 in October 2011, to help fund breast cancer research at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

If you would like to find out more about the group, would like to join or would like to fundraise, please contact the Nottingham Hospitals Charity fundraising team on 0115 962 7905, or call Jackie Wheeler from the Nottingham Breast Cancer Support Group on 01949 20460.

You can also donate to breast cancer research at NUH via text message, by writing "NUHC16' and your chosen amount of £2, £5 or £10 into a text message, and sending it to 70070.


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Date: 7th September 2012