Wigan's breast screening team receives a windfall thanks to enterprising patients

Lisa Buckley, Karen Strong, Howard Gallimore, Tracey Hughes and Janet Ellison
Lisa Buckley, Karen Strong, Howard Gallimore, Tracey Hughes and Janet Ellison

The breast screening team at Wigan’s hospital organisation has received a generous donation from two of its patients.

Tracey Hughes, from Orrell, raised over £700 for the breast screening unit by hosting a pink party to celebrate the end of her treatment.

Tracey, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last September, wanted to catch-up with friends and decided that a party would also be a great way to fund-raise.

“It was a really nice way to celebrate the end of my treatment and to thank everyone for all of their support,” she said.

The party was held at Forbes on the Lane, Wigan, who donated their venue and food for the worthy cause.

Many of the guests in attendance dressed in pink.

With a live saxophonist and Tracey’s husband – a Neil Diamond tribute act - James Norton, performing, the party was a great success.

A large portion of the money raised came from a prize raffle at the event with local businessman and WWL governor Howard Gallimore enthusiastically selling tickets during the evening.

Helping to plan the event was Tracey’s good friend Karen Strong, who was also diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017.

The pair became fast friends after being introduced by a mutual friend when on holiday in Jersey in February this year, where they bonded over their shared experiences.

Karen said: “When we met we had that common bond and we’ve helped and supported each other ever since.”

The friends are also taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of breast screening.

Tracey first discovered an abnormality when undertaking a self-examination whilst Karen’s cancer was discovered whilst attending a routine mammogram appointment.

Reflecting on her experience and fund-raising, Tracey said; “I talk about it very openly because I think that sharing my story can potentially help to save someone’s life.”

Janet Ellison, patient navigator for the South Lancashire Breast Screening Service, said: “I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Tracey for organising the fund raising event and choosing to donate this amount to us.

“Tracey’s achievement will now help to support other women who are receiving care and will help to promote awareness on the importance of attending breast screening appointments.”

The total donation of £725 is planned to go towards photos to brighten up the mobile breast screening unit, which will help create a more holistic and soothing experience for its patients.

The pair are planning to improve on the success of this year’s party and are hoping to hold a ball next spring with Karen’s parting words being: “Watch this space.”