Breast Cancer Care was founded by Betty Westgate in 1973 five years after her own diagnosis of breast cancer. Following her diagnosis Betty felt really isolated and believed there was a lack of information available. She decided she wanted to use her personal experience to make a difference to the lives of others affected by this disease.
Betty’s passion for information, education and empowerment led her to run the charity on a voluntary basis from her home in Croydon, South London. 40 years later, Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to providing services and support for anyone affected by breast cancer. The charity continues to blend the expertise of some of the finest clinical nurse specialists in the country with the personal experience of thousands of men and women.
To celebrate this, Breast Cancer Care holds an annual London fashion show at which all the models are men or women who have had a breast cancer diagnosis. This year the Office pink and black patent leather shoe will feature on the catwalk. The models will show off the most coveted stiletto of the season – the single soled pointed court with a barely there ankle strap. Retailing at £55 and with an amazing £40 donated to Breast Cancer Care from every shoe sold, Office is helping to ensure the charity can be there for the 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK.
Laura Owens from Liverpool was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 when she was just 31 years old and will model at The Breast Cancer Care fashion show this October. She says:
“80% of people diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50, so I found it hard going to all my appointments and not meeting other young women in the same position as me. My worries about fertility, self image (I put on a lot of weight during my treatment) and new relationships were very different to the older women I was surrounded by. That’s where Breast Cancer Care came in. I attended Breast Cancer Care’s Younger Women’s Forum which changed my whole experience into something so much more positive. I met other women who were feeling the same as me (I wasn’t going mad after all!) and it prepared me for what to expect over the next few months. It is vital to talk to someone who directly understands how you feel, especially at night when you’re lying in bed with uncontrollable thoughts racing through your head (and 2 million tabs open on Google!).
“I’m really looking forward to The Breast Cancer Care fashion show. It’s been hard having to deal with ‘chemo’ hair but being involved with the catwalk show has already given me a confidence boost.”