Karen and Pauline have been friends for many years. Here, the fun loving and positive pair discuss the reality of Karen's breast cancer diagnosis and why there is no better time than now to fundraise in support of research to end the disease.
Karen's story: It can happen to you
"I wonder why it is that it can sometimes take a life changing event to make you sit back and take stock and realise what’s important and why. Earlier this year that’s what happened to us, myself and those closest to me.
"That shock diagnosis of breast cancer – that pivotal ‘it’ll never happen to me’ moment happened. Suddenly everything turned upside down. I was part of a whole new world I sort of knew existed but had never contemplated.
"That realisation of how crucial organisations like Breast Cancer Now are was the first step to truly appreciating how important both fundraising and awareness raising are.
We certainly wouldn’t have considered ourselves charity fundraisers but for us the importance of ensuring continued research and awareness raising became personal – you never know what’s around the corner."
"This year has had the focus of getting me through the treatment and back on the road to recovery, but looking ahead to next year we have already signed up to do a charity walk on the anniversary of my operation. We are looking on this as a celebration – to raise money and awareness and showing life is here to live!
"Fundraising can come in many guises, for us one of the most important things is to have fun while fundraising. We would urge everyone not to wait for that life changing moment but to go for it now – now is as good a time as any – you never know what’s around that corner for yourself or a loved one and how important to you it could end up being.
"Go for it and have fun fundraising, it’s important to us all."
Pauline's story - The Big ‘C’
"When one has the ‘shock’ news of learning that one of their closest and oldest friends has cancer it’s hard to describe how you feel, it’s just so emotional. ‘It will never happen to us’ is what you say, ‘suddenly’ it does and wham, the big ‘C’ word is right out there!
"For us as friends we have faced it ’head’ on – not easy, but thankfully we both have the same outlook on life – ‘deal with it’, and issues that arrive, we talk through and hopefully there is a good result at the end.
"Emotionally, well that’s a different issue. All sorts of things go through your mind, heart and stomach – different for each individual, however being ‘strong’ for the one you care about remains the ultimate goal.
"Dealing with the family also has implications both for the patient as well as the friend; you both have to answer their queries perhaps in different ways! However, for me as a friend of someone who has now had cancer, it has made me realise that I can no longer ‘sweep things’ under the carpet! I will have to face up to going to have a mammogram and check up – these I have managed to avoid! However I am no longer able to!"
Now is good
If you have been inspired by Karen and Pauline's story – and if you believe the time is now - sign up today for your free fundraising pack.
You can be part of the generation that stops breast cancer. Every action, big or small, gets us a step closer.
We’re the people who can make it happen – so let’s get started, now!