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The Make 2nds Count charity has hit the million pound mark four years after it was first set up by Lisa Fleming who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer - an incurable disease which claims the lives of 1000 UK women a month – in May 2017.
The now 38-year-old mum had no primary diagnosis, warning signs or a lump when she first saw her GP and as a result, there were delays in her being diagnosed.
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By the time she was told she was suffering from the disease, known as the forgotten cancer, Lisa’s cancer had already spread to the majority of her bones and she was later told that it was also in her brain.
She has since undergone aggressive treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and multiple surgeries.
But despite having been faced with mental and physical challenges, and experiencing extreme lows as a result of her diagnosis, Lisa has been determined to focus on the positives – a move which saw her found a charity to help fund research into secondary breast cancer and support those with the disease and their families.
“Reaching our £1million fundraising milestone is just the most exciting start to what we predict will be another productive year for us,” she said.
“And while we look forward to achieving so much more, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us reach that phenomenal million-pound total.
“Our supporters really do provide a lifeline and without them we would be unable to make the progress we have accomplished in raising awareness of this disease, in funding dedicated research and in facilitating projects like access to patient trials. Every contribution and donation are enormously appreciated.”
The £1million will help finance vital research at universities across the UK as well as provide much-needed support for patients with secondary breast cancer and their families.
The milestone was reached thanks to activities such as a Gala Ball at Edinburgh’s Prestonfield House Hotel and £500,000 from individual fundraisers who took on their own challenges like abseiling off the Forth Rail Bridge, skydiving, trekking the Arctic, running 12 marathons in 12 days and walking 500 miles.
Patient champion Tricia, who is one of those who will benefit from Make 2nds Count charity’s fundraising efforts, said: “I don’t know how I would have coped without Make 2nds Count and the support services I have been able to access. There is nothing like it where I live in the Scottish Highlands.”
She added: “The love and support I felt from the group was inspiring.”
The UK-wide charity focuses on patients and families of women and men living with secondary breast cancer and among its biggest achievements has been donating £270,000 in research funds to the Universities of Edinburgh, Warwick, Liverpool and Sussex. It also launched the Patient Trial Advocate Service, in partnership with NHS Lothian, last year which has already helped 65 patients gain vital information about clinical trials.
To find out how to contribute go to https://www.make2ndscount.co.uk/get-involved/ and https://www.make2ndscount.co.uk/donate.