Bromley fashion show helps cut the waiting in cancer screening
Crowds cheered on dozens of breast-cancer survivors as they shimmied down the catwalk at a glittering fashion show.
The charity event took place at The Glades in Bromley to raise money to buy new lymph node analysers for the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.
Women currently have to wait up to six weeks from first finding a lump but the new equipment will enable medics to carry out the analysis and all the required surgery in one operation instead of two or three, improving the lives of patients and saving the NHS money.
The show was organised by the newly-formed South East London Breast Cancer Trust, a group of women who are battling or who have beaten cancer.
One of the trustees, grandmother-of-four Georgie de la Nougerede, 61, from Bromley has had the disease three times, recurring roughly every seven years since 1994.
She said: “From the moment you find a lump you begin planning your funeral. The wait for a biopsy is a nightmare. Anything that stops that from happening is fantastic.”
Before the fashion show the group had raised over £110,000 and the women are hoping their organisation will get charitable status within the next month.
The new lymph node analysers which cost £60,000 and £40,000 per year to run. One has been ordered is hoped to arrive before the New Year.
The women were advised by the PRUH’s ‘amazing’ consultant breast cancer surgeon Anil Desai to set up a charity so they had more control over where and how the money was spent.
Headteacher Sam Crinnion, 42, from Southlands said: “It’s going to save lives and speed up treatment. It will be patients managing money for patients.”
Mr Desai said: “It’s fantastic. I’m inspired by all these women who are so brave.” The doctor has promised to do a parachute jump and Mrs de le Nougerede said she would join him if they can gather £10,000 sponsorship.
Christine Oliver, 54, from Petts Wood, said: “Mr Desai is such a caring and amazing consultant. He has made my breast cancer journey as easy as it possibly could be.”
The Glades has joined up with the women and will be working with them until at least December 2011 to raise money with them. Anybody who wants to support the trust in any way should email email@example.com