A charity ball organised by a group of women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer has raised more than £17,000 – for research at The University of Nottingham – aimed at stopping the devastating disease in its tracks.
More than 500 people attended the Boobie Ball 2 at Colwick Hall Hotel in Nottingham in November and enjoyed a three-course dinner, dancing and live music while supporting the work of the University’s Nottingham Breast Cancer Research Centre (NBCRC).
The event was the second special event of its kind organised by 39-year-old mother of three Lisa Johnson from Nottingham.
Lisa lost both her mother and mother-in-law to breast cancer before going on to develop the disease herself in 2014. While going through treatment and since finishing treatment, Lisa has met many other young women facing the same challenges and was inspired to get involved with the University of Nottingham Lifecycle 6 campaign #BreastCancerAndMe.
Alongside Sarah Blythe, she organised the first Boobie Ball in 2016, raising more than £4,000, and has become a passionate supporter of the University’s breast cancer research, a dedicated fundraiser and a board member at NBCRC.
This time around, she was joined in the organisation by a group of Nottingham friends Claire Tomlinson, Sarah Nice, Carol Bowman, Claire Jennings.
Boobie Ball 2 was hugely successful, raising more than four times the total of the original event, and was held in memory of close friend Janine Brook, 40, who died from breast cancer in January 2018 and was a prolific fundraiser and ambassador for breast self-checking and breast awareness.
In an emotional moment from the evening, breast cancer survivors took to the dancefloor to the classic 80s tune Together in Electric Dreams, which was one of Janine’s favourite songs and was played at her funeral.
Having faced many challenges over the course of her cancer journey from diagnosis four years ago, Lisa is now cancer free and feeling positive about the future.
She said: “I’m feeling really proud of all that I and the other fundraisers have been able to achieve and the very real difference that it will make to the lives of women like us.
“It’s obviously been incredibly difficult at times, especially having young children, but through breast cancer I have been able to meet some of the most amazing people I have ever met – other cancer survivors and the researchers who are working so hard to eradicate the disease. Many have since become close friends.”
Lisa is now retraining as a semi-permanent make-up artist and hopes soon to extend her skills to being able to offer areola tattooing for breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomy and breast reconstruction, having experienced first-hand the difference it can make following surgery.
Ten thousand women die from breast cancer every week worldwide - the £17,088 raised from Boobie Ball 2 will support the research of the scientists at the NBCRC who are working to help save and transform women’s lives around the globe.
A blood test is currently being developed to detect the disease early. Experts are developing more effective targeted treatments and they are using new discoveries to help stop breast cancer from spreading around the body.
Dawn Broomfield, Community Fundraising Manager in the Campaigns and Alumni Relations Office at The University of Nottingham, said “We are so grateful to Lisa and the organisers of the Boobie Ball for their support of the centre and for the amazing amount of money they have raised for our breast cancer research.”
Stewart Martin, Professor of Cancer and Radiation Biology, and the Director of NBCRC, said: “I am tremendously grateful to the ladies, their friends and their families for organising the Boobie Ball event and raising such an impressive amount for our research.
“The event was run in memory of Janine Brook and was, with Janine’s family and friends present, very emotional, especially for those of us that knew Janine well. But it was also a lot of fun and very enjoyable.
“NBCRC is entirely reliant on donations and fundraising events and I realise the tremendous amount of hard work that went into organising the event – thank you simply isn’t enough. Our thanks also go to all the 500 individuals that attended on the night and to all those that sponsored the event – having such a turnout was fantastic and will really make a difference to the research we are conducting here in Nottingham.”
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The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.