BIRMINGHAM’S FLOOZIE LAUNCHES BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

To mark the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Midlands-based charity Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer took over Victoria Square and gave the famous ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ her modesty back. Now seen wearing a pink bra, the Floozie started a month of activity hosted by the charity to raise awareness of the disease and also their £1 Million Appeal, which aims to raise funds for new services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

During October, the Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer team will be out and about across the region to educate men and women and help them spot the signs early.

Next week (7-11 October) will also see the team of volunteers at the Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Hospital, which the charity exclusively supports, for five days. They will be talking to patients and visitors in the Atrium, and will sell Christmas cards, 2014 diaries and other branded products, with all proceeds going to the charity. Towards the end of the week, on Friday 11 October, the Women of the Year Awards will be taking place at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole Hotel. The event recognises the UK’s most inspirational women and is, this year, being hosted by Dame Kelly Holmes. Along with hundreds of guests, Kelly Holmes will help to raise further money for the charity whilst at the event.

The week commencing 14 October, sees two events taking place, in support of Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. The Birmingham Chinatown Lions Club will host its Autumn Quiz on Tuesday 15 October at Edmunds Lounge Bar, again with all money raised on the night going towards the charity. On Sunday 20, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall will welcome hundreds of music fans through its doors for Hear The People Sing, a special event organised by the charity as part of the Young Proms’ 10th Anniversary celebrations. The sold-out event will seeGot 2 Singchoirs from Worcester, Stourbridge, Wolverhampton, Bewdley, Ludlow and Hereford, joined by a host of professional soloists. Together they will perform songs from some of your favourite live shows; including Les Miserables, Oliver, West Side Story, Wicked and the Sound of Music. In addition to popular classics such as The Pearl Fishers Duet, Gondolieri and Flower Duet. Hear The People Sing is being hosted by ITV legend Bob Warman and Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham, who is a charity Patron and helped make the event possible.

With activities continuing throughout the month, Thursday 24 October will see John Lewis Solihull get involved in the campaign, when they host a special shopping event in conjunction with Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer. Taking place in store from 6pm-8.30pm, shoppers can pay £15 to be part of the special event, which gives them access to a special fashion showcase, goody bag, champagne and canapés. At the end of the month, Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer will also launch ‘2 Cups‘, with the hope of encouraging office workers, colleagues, shoppers and businesses taking a break to enjoy a cup of tea and a cupcake, with a percentage of the proceeds going towards the charity. People will be encouraged to host their own ‘2 Cups’ events but Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer will also team up with regional cafés, bars and restaurants for a series of official events.

This all comes as the charity continues to push its £1 Million Appeal, to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Unit at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Along with the QE Hospital Charity, Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer is set to fund fantastic new services at the hospital. Having already provided some much-needed medical equipment, to help create a ‘centre of excellence’ at the QE, they are now looking to introduce an environment beyond what the NHS can afford.

For the past 13 years, since the charity’s inception, it has provided a range of equipment to the QE Hospital, including a Mobile Mammogram Trailer to allow up to ten women an hour to be x-rayed in their local area; an Ultra Sound Scanner for diagnosing breast disease; a Cooling Cap to reduce hair loss during treatment; and a Faxitron X-Ray Machine that enables microscopic clarity during biopsies. Speaking about the Appeal, Veronica Kumeta, Co-Founder and Chairman of Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, said:

The £1 Million Appeal aims to fund a new lounge, giving patients and their families a comfortable place to go when at the hospital, as well as provide nurses a more relaxing environment when discussing diagnosis and treatments. We would also like to introduce a not-for-profit hair salon for cancer patients, as well as beauty treatments and bra-fitting service. It’s all about matching the overall experience to the incredible medical care that patients get from the QE staff. In addition to these ‘soft’ services, we want to fund a second Mobile Mammogram Trailer to continue screening across the Midlands. The one that the charity originally funded has made a real difference; helping to diagnose cases in the early stages.

Since starting the charity back in 2000, after losing two friends to the disease, we’ve been working alongside the QE to make the facilities the best they can be. All of the money that we raise stays in the region, which I think is fantastic for people that support us because they see how every penny is spent. I’m so happy that the charity has been able to launch an appeal like this and I look forward to handing that cheque over to the staff in June 2015.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important – not just for us as a charity but for every single person that could be at risk. My aim is for men and women to understand how to spot changes in their body and what to do should they find something. Unfortunately, Breast Cancer cannot yet be cured but we want to help with education, prevention and early diagnosis.”

For more information on the charity, the £1 Million Appeal and events, visit www.ladiesfightingbreastcancer.org.uk.

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For all press enquiries, please contact EAST VILLAGE.

Tara Tomes // tara@eastvillageagency.com // 07966 884 659

Find out more: www.ladiesfightingbreastcancer.org.uk

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Notes to Editor:

  • Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer was established in 2000 by a group of local volunteers from the Birmingham area with the aim to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

  • All money raised by the charity goes directly to the Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Cancer Unit. For the past 13 years, the funds have been used for medical equipment, starting with the first fundraising project that saw the team raise £5,000 to buy a cooling cap to prevent hair loss during treatment. Since then, fundraising has gone from strength to strength; a particular highlight being enabling the hospital to purchase an Ultrasound scanner for £150,000.

  • Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer has now raised over £1 million to provide the QE Hospital with vital equipment. This state-of-the-art technology has enabled the hospital to become a centre of excellence, providing patients with a level of treatment far beyond the means of the NHS

  • On the back of this success, the charity launched the £1 Million Appeal last October, with the aim of raising the funds by June 2015 to introduce new ‘soft’ services to the hospital. This will include a new lounge, hair salon, wig and bra-fitting services, and beauty treatments. In addition, the Appeal will provide the hospital with another Mobile Mammogram Trailer

Facts about Breast Cancer*:

  • Every year, nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed in the UK. That’s the equivalent of 150 people every day or one person every 10 minutes

  • 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Of adults aged between 25-49, breast cancer accounts for 45% of all female cancers

  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the UK, after lung cancer. Nearly 12,000 people die from breast cancer in the UK every year

  • Whilst the disease cannot be prevented, catching it in the early stages greatly improves chances of beating it. The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving

  • The biggest risk factor, after gender, is increasing age – 80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. Breast cancer also affects men, but it’s rare – around 400 men are diagnosed each year

  • Breast cancer is not one single disease there are several types of breast cancer. Not all breast cancers show as a lump, and not all breast lumps are breast cancer. Less than 10% of all breast cancers run in families, so having someone in your family with breast cancer doesn’t necessarily mean your own risk is increased

* Source: Breast Cancer Care

Tara Tomes

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