Greer family focused on campaign support

For the second year in a row the women of one Dromara family have signed up as poster girls for Cancer Focus NI’s autumn fundraising campaign.

Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 10:18 am
The Greer family from Dromara are featuring in the new Cancer Focus NI breast cancer awareness campaign. Back row, Zara Greer and Oliver Jess and Caroline Greer; front row, Louise Richardson and Joy Greer
The Greer family from Dromara are featuring in the new Cancer Focus NI breast cancer awareness campaign. Back row, Zara Greer and Oliver Jess and Caroline Greer; front row, Louise Richardson and Joy Greer

The Greer family can be seen on billboards and bus-shelters all over Northern Ireland, promoting the ‘Support Your Girls’ campaign.

The campaign, which runs from now until the end of October (breast cancer awareness month), also highlights signs of breast cancer and stresses the importance of checking your breasts regularly.

One of the women, Louise Richardson, a fundraiser for Cancer Focus NI, said: “In my job I meet so many people who have been affected by cancer, and everyone in my family also knows someone who has had a difficult time because of this awful disease.

Zara, Caroline, Louise and Joy

“We all think this campaign is a wonderful idea and we are more than glad to help out. We know that one in 10 local women get cancer, which is a scary number.

“It could be your mother, your sister, your daughter, your friend. That very much makes it a family affair, which I think is reflected in this beautiful photograph.”

After lockdown, Cancer Focus NI says now is the perfect time to ask women to get ‘together again’ and hold a special girls’ night in – with social distancing - to raise money for breast cancer support for younger women in Northern Ireland.

Community fundraising manager Rosie Forsythe said the charity knew there was a great need for more support among younger women who hd been diagnosed, and the money raised from the girls’ night in events was earmarked for a new, six-week service that would give women a chance to speak to experts on a wide range of topics, such as infertility and sexual relationships, as well as to meet others in a similar situation.

“The young women we want to help are at a stage in their lives where they may be making big life choices, such as marriage and starting a family,” said Rosie.

“A breast cancer diagnosis can dramatically change all their hopes and plans for the future. It is vital we have the best possible support in place for these women, especially now when there are so many other stresses and difficulties in life because of Covid-19.

“We have a host of fundraising ideas. Do whatever you and your friends enjoy doing – and ask for a donation to Cancer Focus NI. It could be a girly movie, pamper party, pyjama party, pizza treats or dinner evenings – all within government social distancing guidelines, of course.

“It’s the perfect reason to have a good time with the girls, and don’t forget to share your girls’ night in with us on social media, #SYG, #TogetherAgain.”

Louise added: “We do have to support each other. We hope that local ladies will come on board with us and help raise money to support young women who find themselves in this position. This new service for young women with this devastating disease is an inspirational idea.

“Young women have their own special set of problems to face and may have young children to look after during their illness. It would be excellent for them to have access to experienced professionals who can answer their many questions.

“It’s also fantastic to have women your own age and in similar circumstances to talk to in confidence.”

Cancer Focus NI’s campaign ambassador, Cool FM’s Rebecca McKinney, said: “This is an excellent breast cancer awareness campaign as well as a fundraiser for an extremely important cause and I’m so proud to be an ambassador.

“Personally, I’ve learnt how crucial it is to keep an eye out for the early signs of breast cancer.

“Women need to examine their breasts regularly to get to ‘know their normal’. We need to keep an eye out for anything we feel is not quite right – some of the signs include a lump in the breast, puckered skin, thickening, a rash, oozing or crusting.

“Now is the right time for a new campaign to remind women to pay attention to any changes in their breasts, to learn how to spot the signs of breast cancer and to see their doctor straight away if they have any concerns. One tip is to set a monthly reminder on your phone.”

For anyone unsure how to check theirbreasts or what to look out for, Cancer Focus NI has a short advistory video on its website and social media channels.

You can find out more about the Support Your Girls campaign and the signs and symptoms on the charity’s website, www.cancerfocusni.org/girls.