Laughing ladies to Light the Night in local woods

27th August 2014

Eight fun-loving ladies from south Sheffield are joining a sponsored night walk in October to say thank you to the region's only cancer hospital.

The eight ladies, who became acquainted through their mutual love of dog walking, will step out into Ecclesall Woods on Saturday 4th October to help raise much needed funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. This year, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Cancer Charity is hoping that supporters from across the region will join the exciting torch-lit night walk in their neon-brights. As some of the ladies have been personally affected by cancer, and others have had close family and friends who have required the specialist services of Weston Park Hospital, the group members are hoping to shine bright on the night in support of the hospital's only dedicated charity. Light the Night, which is now into its third year, encourages participants of all ages to experience the thrill of walking through the ancient woodlands of Ecclesall Woods at sundown, over a gentle 4.5k route. There will also be live entertainment and surprises along the way. One of the walkers, Sylvia Brinnen, from Norton, was keen to join the walk after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 and received treatment at Weston Park Hospital. -It came as a complete shock.' said Sylvia, -I felt really well and there was certainly no indication that I could have an advanced form of breast cancer. Shortly after receiving the diagnosis, Sylvia embarked on a course of chemotherapy at Weston Park Hospital followed by a mastectomy and removal of her lymph nodes at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Under the care of Weston Park Hospital consultant, Professor Rob Coleman, Sylvia was offered the chance to go onto a clinical trial called the Anzac Study and subsequently underwent radiotherapy sessions followed by a course of Herceptin. Sylvia continued: -I must admit it was a terrifying experience but everyone at the hospital, from the receptionists to those who made the cups of tea, were absolutely fantastic and I couldn't fault the impeccable quality of care. -It really did make such a distressing experience that little bit more manageable knowing that after just one visit, the staff all knew my name and my personal needs were considered on an individual basis. Sylvia also benefited from the support of the Cancer Support Centre at the hospital, which is mainly funded by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. By attending the 'Look Good Feel Better' course at the centre, a weekly session which focuses on makeup tips for cancer patients, Sylvia was able to feel positive once again about her changing image. Another of the ladies, who is taking on the night walk for the second time, is Fiona Higgins from Greenhill, who was inspired to put her foot forward after losing her mum, Margaret to oesophagus cancer in 2006. She said: -I took part in the first Light the Night walk in 2012 after losing my mum and the atmosphere was stupendous! It was an obvious choice to do it all again surrounded by some of my closest friends. Dog walker Fiona is a regular visitor to the local beauty spot of Ecclesall Woods and holds the location very close to her heart, after meeting her husband, Dave whilst walking her dogs there in 2007. The group members, comprising Fiona Higgins (Greenhill), Lise Jackson (Bradway), Gaenor Jackson (Totley), Sylvia Brinnen (Norton), Liz France-White (Beauchief), Amanda Wragg (Norton), Angie Corner (Holmesfield) and Kate Dixon (Dore), are hoping to raise as much sponsorship money as possible for the Cancer Charity and are already thinking of novel ideas for their neon outfits. Charity Fundraiser, Sarah Cross, said: -We're delighted that the ladies can join us in their local woods for this special event on Saturday 4th October and we hope their enthusiasm will encourage others to help us shine bright on the night! -This unique event is perfect for groups and families alike who want to give something back for the wonderful care the region's cancer patients can benefit from thanks to Weston Park Hospital. Last year the event raised a staggering £40,000 and those who help the charity Light the Night this year - by raising £35 or more in sponsorship, will receive a free exclusive limited edition glow T-shirt to wear on the night. To celebrate the charity's 20th anniversary, this year's night walk theme is 90s' neon. The Cancer Charity is encouraging everyone taking part to go wild with their fancy dress outfits and capture the retro-90s' look (fancy dress is optional). To sign up to Light the Night or for more information about the event visit www.lightthenight.org.uk. Weston Park Hospital is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England and its reputation as a centre of excellence in the fight against cancer is recognised not only here in the UK, but also internationally. To find out more about the work of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk or call the office on 0114 226 5370.

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