Life

Bras at the ready as Action Cancer walk highlights importance of early breast screening

This week's pink bra walk fuses fun with a serious message, writes Gail Bell

Participants dress for the part in last year's Action Cancer Bra Walk

BELFAST is braced for a sea of pink bras, feathers and sequins as the popular Action Cancer Bra Walk bounds into town again this Friday.

The walk, sponsored by SuperValu, has become a colourful addition to the charity's annual calendar, attracting walkers from across the city and beyond for the 10k fundraising hike.

Walkers are encouraged to dress in pink and walk in memory of a loved one, or else just join in the fun and raise awareness as well as vital cash needed to support Action Cancer's 11,000 life-saving breast screenings each year.

Around 1,000 men, women and young people are expected to take part this year, starting off at Belfast City Hall at 7pm.

The start of the walk will be officially marked by the cutting of a symbolic pink ribbon by breast cancer survivor, Amanda Higginbottom, who was just in her 40s when her cancer was detected by the Action Cancer Big Bus in Antrim.

"I was 45 when my breast cancer was detected and if I had waited until the NHS screening programme kicked in at 50, I'm convinced it would have been too late for me," she says.

"If I hadn't stepped on to the Big Bus, my outcome could have been very different."

Another cancer survivor, 48 year-old Maria McCracken from Bangor, who will be sharing her personal experience at Friday's event, also stressed the importance of early screening.

"Go and get a mammogram," she said. "Let the experts tell you are OK; I was examining myself and thought I was fine. An Action Cancer mammogram could save your life – it saved mine.

"Spread the word and encourage family, friends and work colleagues to put their best foot forward and walk 10k for Action Cancer – all the money raised will support women just like me."

To sign up for Action Cancer's Bra Walk, visit www.actioncancer.org or contact Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344, email thebrawalk@actioncancer.org

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