Royal Surrey Charity is thrilled to receive a £5,000 donation from Marie Lee from Bosom Buddies for the Royal Surrey Breast Unit.

Marie and her army of supporters have been fundraising for the breast unit for 20 years, following her sister’s breast cancer diagnosis when she was just 36. Marie’s sister, Philomena, was the first woman in the UK to be on phase two of the ALMANAC trials with Dr Mark Kissin. Dr Kissin asked for support from the local community to help fund the trials and the Bosom Buddies was born.

Whilst they had only planned to hold the event once, it soon became a staple in the local social calendar, growing from just 100 ladies to selling out annually with 250 attendees.

This year would have been their 20th anniversary and they were not going to let the coronavirus pandemic stop them from raising vital funds to support breast cancer patients.

They moved their event to a virtual platform, allowing ladies in groups of six, as per the guidance at the time, to hold their own fabulous events. From three course meals, to gin tastings, over 70 ladies took part. The highlight of the evening was the two charity raffles, hosted by Bev Steer and Sophia Wyatt.

£5,000 was raised on the night and our consultant breast surgeon Tracey Irvine, attended the evening explaining how their support helps to make a difference. Tracey said:

A lot of the kit that we use in the everyday care of our patients has been supported by the Bosom Buddies. This year we would like to do two things with the money raised. We are looking at a new way of mapping out small breast cancers which is more comfortable for our patients, and these funds will buy the state of the art kit to offer this service. The other thing is that a lot of our treatment has side effects and our Breast Care Nursing team have set up a clinic specifically to help patients with those side effects. They would now like to make a video to support those patients who have trouble after treatment. We would like to thank the Bosom Buddies for their continued support of the Royal Surrey Breast Unit. This is their 20th year of supporting us and it’s great to see that despite all of the challenges of this year they have still been able to hold an event.

Marie even managed to reach international audiences this year with her sisters joining from France and Australia. Over 20 years, Bosom Buddies has raised over £78,000 for Royal Surrey Charity and made a huge difference to the thousands of patients who use the breast cancer services every year.

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