Belfast Telegraph

You might have saved my life: Cathy Martin 'humbled' by cancer email

By Victoria O'Hara

Fashionista Cathy Martin has said she is shocked and humbled after a charity video she appeared in to promote breast screening saved a woman's life.

The creator of Belfast FashionWeek appeared in the light-hearted Action Cancer 'one minute mammogram' video, which was launched in April.

This week she was contacted by a woman who had watched the short video and was encouraged to go to the doctor - only to be diagnosed with the disease.

In a message to Cathy (42) the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had found a tiny lump in her breast but as there was no history of cancer in her family she had decided to wait before seeing her doctor.

"That is, until I watched you and your mammogram video which prompted me to go see my GP who referred me to a consultant," she wrote.

In the email sent on Monday she added: "Today I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I have surgery this week. Thankfully it's still quite small so the surgeon is quite optimistic. Thank you so much as you might literally just have saved my life."

The woman is now scheduled to undergo surgery within days.

Cathy, who was inspired by her own mother's cancer diagnosis to get involved in the charity video, explained she felt a mixture of emotions when she read the message.

"It was very upsetting because no one wants to hear about anyone getting cancer. But I replied and said that I was flattered and upset by it," she said.

"To be told by someone that you have potentially saved their life is a lovely thing, it really humbles you. I'm just really glad that I did it now."

Cathy also wanted to honour the memory of the 35-year-old founder of the Pretty 'n' Pink charity Noleen Adair, who died in 2014.

There are around 1,300 cases of breast cancer in women each year and 340 deaths each year in Northern Ireland. The clip of Cathy and the Action Cancer team guiding women through the simple mammogram process - an X-ray of the breast - has been viewed tens of thousands of times.

She urges women to embrace "the Friday feeling" and check their breasts.

"I knew I had some reach on social media and that is why I agreed to do it," she said.

"Especially for the video to be seen by maybe 1,000 people, because that was the number of people who were watching things I posted about commercial things. But for it to get 15,000 views in one day and then the Action Cancer website crashing because of the sheer volume of people trying to book, I'm very proud of that; it has had such an impact."

  • Action Cancer offers free breast screening to women aged between 40 and 49 and 70-plus, who fall outside the health service testing ages of 50 to 70. If you are aged 40-49 or 70+ you can book breast screening online at Or visit

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph