A nurse bravely battling breast cancer hopes to raise awareness about the importance of attending breast screening appointments as well as money for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity at a fundraising event.
Despite feeling fit, healthy and with no visible signs of the potentially life-threatening cancer, specialist doctors at Rotherham Hospital detected the first signs of breast cancer in Bobbie Evers’ left breast in June this year following a routine breast screening appointment.
Bobbie, a theatre nurse at the hospital, was invited back for a follow up appointment where an ultrasound and a biopsy sadly confirmed the diagnosis. Bobbie, of West Melton in Rotherham, underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in July followed by a further hospital stay to treat an infection.
Despite her ordeal, Bobbie hopes her experience will encourage other women to accept routine screening appointments, which can help clinicians detect cancer earlier.
To coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Bobbie will be hosting a fundraising event in reception at Rotherham Hospital on Monday 23 October, from 9.30am to 2.30pm. All the money raised will be help to fund equipment and resources for the Breast Cancer Service at Rotherham Hospital.
Bobbie, age 49, said: “I accepted a routine appointment to attend breast screening at Rotherham Hospital but I felt healthy and didn’t have any of the signs typically associated with breast cancer such as a lump, dimpled skin, swelling or discolouration in my breast so I was confident I would be okay.
“It was a huge shock when I was invited back for a follow up appointment and the tests showed I had cancer. I felt my whole world came to a stop. Being a nurse, I obviously knew about breast cancer but I didn’t think it would necessarily happen to me.
“I only began to feel really poorly when I started the treatment and the worst part for me was being re-admitted to hospital after I suffered an infection following surgery. I had to have two kinds of antibiotics administered intravenously four times a day for eight days but unfortunately the skin around my breast became necrotic, which means the blood flow stopped and it effectively died. I had to have the implant removed and I’m now waiting for more surgery in the New Year.
“But despite everything I’ve been through, I was so well supported by everyone from the Breast Cancer Service. I wanted to be able to give something back to the service and to hopefully help raise awareness about breast cancer too. I shall be telling everyone that ‘Bobbie says to check your boobs!’
“I’m absolutely bowled over by the support I’ve received for the fundraising event already from my colleagues, friends and family. I hope we raise as much money as possible and if more women take up their screening appointments, then sharing my experience will definitely be worth it.”
Bobbie’s ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser’ will include a raffle, tombola and competitions. There will be gifts and delicious cakes for sale. Breast cancer nurses will also be available to answer any questions about screening, the signs and symptoms of the cancer and how it is treated.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a worldwide annual campaign involving thousands of organisations to highlight the importance of breast awareness, education and research. Fundraisers are also encouraged to ‘wear it pink’ to raise awareness.
Every year around 11,500 women and 80 men die from breast cancer – that’s nearly 1,000 people every month. Thanks to research, more people are surviving breast cancer than ever before. More than 80 per cent of women with breast cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis but around 50,000 women continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer each year.*
Gabby Atmarow, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, added: “We’re incredibly lucky at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to have such passionate and dedicated colleagues like Bobbie who, despite what they have been through, want to raise money for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.
“The charity will designate any funds raised at Bobbie’s event for the Breast Cancer Service and we will work together to ensure any additional equipment or resources purchased above and beyond what the NHS can and should afford will really help benefit patients like her in future.”
For more information and advice about the benefits of attending breast screening appointments, you can read our blog by the Trust’s Breast Screening Programme Manager, Faye Foers, online here.
For more information about the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity please contact Suzanne Rutter on 01709 426821 or via Charity@rothgen.nhs.uk