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Jennifer Willis raised £12,295 from 195 supporters

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Closed 30/06/2022

0%
£12,295
raised of £15,000 target by 195 supporters

    Weʼve raised £12,295 to fund "Seen to be Heard" a solo touring exhibition by Jennifer Willis giving voice to NI women with Secondary (Metastatic) Breast Cancer

    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Funded on Thursday, 30th June 2022

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    Story

    When my friend, Cheryl, confided in me her diagnosis of Secondary Breast Cancer I had no idea the significance of what she was telling me except that it was incurable.

    She asked if I would photograph her to the end of her cancer journey.

    During one of my photo sessions with Cheryl I learned things about her cancer story that seemed almost unbelievable.

    It was one of missed opportunities, denial of choice of which surgery she could have, a fight for gene testing, lack of support and empathy and the stark difference between care for Primary Breast Cancer patients and those living with the devasting Secondary diagnosis.

    Every day is a battle against lack of awareness of what Secondary Breast Cancer even means.

    Too much of what I heard about Cheryl’s care was quite simply unforgiveable.

    When she told me that a small number of women in the same position had established a support group I offered to help them to raise awareness by taking their portraits and undertaking to do an exhibition.

    As I photographed and spent time with each of these women, whilst their own cancer journeys are unique, tragically, I heard the some of the same stories repeated over and over again.

    Their own words they describe their experience within the health care system from the time of their diagnosis with Secondary Breast Cancer as

    “horrendous...brutal...unbelievable...shocking...no compassion...no empathy...nobody seems to care...no one even at the end of the phone”.

    I knew that this project had to extend into advocacy…

    Cheryl, my friend, is now the face of the exhibition but I also have 15 other friends and utterly amazing women living with this diagnosis in Northern Ireland.

    This photographic exhibition has become a conduit for advocacy and change.

    Already we have made a presentation to the Health Committee Chair and VC at Stormont and we return by invitation of the Health Committee to Stormont to present to MLAs. The women themselves are writing a manifesto of what they need and for the first time here in NI are writing an information leaflet dedicated to helping those with or at risk of Secondary Breast Cancer.

    We are raising the experiences of these women to medics, research groups, politicians that they can help these women and those coming along behind them. However, we also invite you to ask how you can help. Quite simply at this stage we need funds to cover the many expenses of putting on such an exhibition for example substantial cost of printing, touring the exhibition and advocacy.

    We welcome donations of any amount whether these be from individuals or organisations or companies. It will be much appreciated, not least by these brave women who have bared their bodies in order to get people to sit up and listen.

    The exhibition opens on 28th April in Belfast Exposed and runs until 23rd May before moving on to other venues.

    Updates

    5

    • Jennifer Willis3 months ago
      Jennifer Willis

      Jennifer Willis

      3 months ago

      What can we say other than a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed. All the images have now gone to print so that will be the first big bill we will need to settle. When that comes through we will show proof of payment. Our advocacy is already having an impact and we our very proud of that. So much more to and we expect that this exhibition will move to significant venues across North and South.

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Jennifer Willis4 months ago
      Jennifer Willis

      Jennifer Willis

      4 months ago

      How can we thank everyone for your donations smashing our initial target?! Well here is a quick update of our progress. On Wednesday we took our Manifesto to Stormont leaving the politicians - those who bothered to attend - in no doubt about the effect that poor Secondary Breast Cancer provisions in NI has on the women. The press attention was fantastic so we have already opened many eyes. These women should not have to spend their precious time campaigning but they are doing it for those coming after.

      Update from the Page owner

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    • Jennifer Willis4 months ago
      Jennifer Willis

      Jennifer Willis

      4 months ago

      Thank you to everyone who has donated so far helping us to reach just over £6000 in just 3 days. It is truly amazing support and a huge encouragement to everyone in the project. Last night 9 of the women gathered at mine for a wee bit of light relief ;). drinks and food (thank you to chef Graeme) and to Julia who did a lot of the hostessing (sorry Julia). We had a face time call with Elaine who is currently in hospital and did a wee video for Noelle who is isolating with Covid. Jennifer

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    4 months ago

    Jennifer Willis started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 5/17/2022 21.44

    Supporters

    195

    • Marion Chisholm

      Marion Chisholm

      May 17, 2022

      Glad to support such a worthwhile charity

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      May 3, 2022

      £100.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Apr 29, 2022

      Keep up the great work girls x

    • Don Carville

      Don Carville

      Apr 28, 2022

      £20.00

    • Valerie Rowan

      Valerie Rowan

      Apr 13, 2022

      For ladies everywhere, unseen and unheard...God Bless you all. 🙏

      £20.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Apr 9, 2022

      £40.00

    • Leo McCourt

      Leo McCourt

      Apr 4, 2022

      Excellent work Jennifer

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    Jennifer Willis

    Jennifer Willis

    Belfast, Northern Ireland

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