Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to charity founder Noleen who made a difference

By Victoria O'Hara

An inspirational woman who raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity after being diagnosed with breast cancer has died.

Noleen Adair (35) from Belfast had battled the disease since the age of 22.

Despite being seriously ill for a decade, Noleen worked tirelessly for women with breast cancer with the colourful and glamorous Pretty 'n' Pink charity.

After launching the charity in 2006 she inspired and encouraged people to get involved in hundreds of events across Northern Ireland.

The aim of Pretty 'n' Pink is to create awareness of breast cancer here, especially in young women.

It also provides funds for patients who do not meet the criteria for any other public or charitable funding.

This involves not only organising fundraising events, but also giving out individual grants that go towards things like heating oil and childcare.

And it improves the quality of life of breast cancer patients and their families.

Yesterday the Pretty 'n' Pink website paid tribute to Noleen – a runner-up in the Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Awards last year in the Inspirational Woman category.

"It is with the deepest sadness that we have to write this post.

"Our much-loved, brave, inspirational and respected founder Noleen Adair passed away in the early hours of this morning after a long battle with breast cancer.

"Not only was Noleen the charity founder and our colleague, but she was also our friend, mentor, and an inspiration to us and others.

Our thoughts are with her family at this time."

The poignant post added: "Noleen loved life and she lived it to the full through her charity. We feel very fortunate to have been able to share her journey of passion and determination as she fought to help others.

"Her memory will live on through the charity that she founded."

Social media was also flooded with tributes.

One post said: "What a fight you fought against #Cancer. An inspiration to us all." Cancer campaigner Una Crudden, who is terminally ill with ovarian cancer, tweeted: "I have just heard of the sad passing of Noleen Adair founder of @Prettynpinkni @NoleenAdair. Thinking of you all."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph in 2012 Noleen, who had undergone several bouts of chemotherapy, said she inherited her courage from her mother Rose, who brought up three children in west Belfast as a single parent.

"We're very close as a result and I think I've inherited mummy's strength, as she had to be both mummy and daddy," she said.

She added that her father Brian, who also fought cancer more than once, was a positive influence on her too.

Constantly supported by her husband Gavin, she was asked at the time, as the charity's founder, how she would like to be remembered.

Her answer was: "As somebody who made a difference."

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