October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Northern Ireland - so what better time to announce that local charity Pretty 'n' Pink has to date raised in excess of a quarter-of-a-million pounds!
The charity was set up five years ago by Belfast woman Noleen Adair who was first diagnosed with breast cancer a decade ago.
"It all started out as a bit of fund-raising with family and friends," explained Noleen, who has been constantly battling cancer ever since and who - amazingly - took time out from her ongoing chemotherapy treatments to attend Pretty 'n' Pink's 2011 Gala Ball at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast.
In the first year, Pretty 'n' Pink raised £15,000. Now, just five years since it was set up, the total is in excess of £250,000. That is the equivalent of £1,000 raised in Northern Ireland every week.
'The money is used to help particular cancer patients and whatever they may need. It may be that it helps with household bills as income is affected due to loss of earnings, it may be that we can contribute towards the cost of a respite break for them and their carers," explained Noleen.
"That's the beauty of Pretty 'n' Pink, it's not tied down to specifics and it means that we can be creative as to how best and most appropriately the money we raise is used."
Rosie Griffin, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, explained how Pretty 'n' Pink had provided funding for her sisters and mother - her primary carers - to have a day out being pampered at a local spa.
"Noleen is amazing. I can't even express in words what I think of her. She is an absolute inspiration to anybody who has suffered with cancer or anybody who has had a family member suffer with cancer," she said.
Julie Beaumont, another guest at the Gala Ball, said: "Noleen's just such a very 'people person'. It doesn't matter whether its something for her own charity or for another one. She just supports them all when she can. It's been an absolute privilege to know her."
Julie's friend Joyce Craig simply had this to say: "Anytime you maybe feel that wee bit down, when you think you have a problem, you just have to think of Noleen and you know that today is going to be a good day."
For more information go to www.prettynpink.org
Video by millar grattan media
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