On Saturday 5th March 2011, I am going to be shaving my head to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
In September 1982, on the 1st day of secondary school, I said hello to the girl sat next to me. 28 years later, and even though she lives 150 miles away in Blackpool, she's still my very best friend. In September last year, she called to tell me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This news was a total shock, and absolutely devastating. Even though my mum had breast cancer several years previous, it never motivated me enough to do something useful for others.
In October 2010, following surgery, my friend started the grueling process of chemo. Although this is a treatment which often leaves her feeling crap, life must continue as normal. Without hesitation, self pity or resentment, she just gets on with the job of going to work and being a fabulous wife and mother. Her strength, bravery and determination is truly humbling. Throughout all this, still she calls to ask how I am, and to reassure me that all will be well.
After chemo she will start her radiation therapy. She will then be fit and healthy again. In years to come we will be able to look back at this moment in time as a minor hiccup. This is because, thanks to people like you who give generously to charities such as Cancer Research UK, the treatment of breast cancer is continually advancing and more and more women are surviving this dreadful disease.
Given that she lives in Blackpool, I am unable to pop in and make her a cup of tea and feel that I'm doing something practical to be supportive. Shaving my head to raise money is my selfish attempt to feel that at least I'm doing something worthwhile. I find it really uncomfortable and difficult to ask people for money, especially in such hard economic times. However, I am sure you, like most people, know somebody whose life has been affected by breast cancer. Any donation you are able to make will be truly appreciated and used to beat cancer through research.
Thank you so much for your kind generosity. Kate