It's all change for Bosom Buddies as leader retires
BREAST cancer patients are not alone thanks to eight devoted ladies.
Bosom Buddies Support Group North East Lincolnshire is the name to look out for this year, formed off the back of the former Fresh Fields Breast Cancer support group.
Members of the support network decided it was time for a change after their leader of 12 years, Margaret Johnson, retired.
Now the local Bosom Buddies committee, made up of eight women, aim to reduce isolation of those diagnosed.
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The ladies have either been through breast cancer themselves or have been affected by it in some way.
However, for Mrs Johnson, who is now looking forward to spending more time on her artistic hobbies during retirement, the memories of Fresh Fields will be with her forever.
She first heard about the group when accompanying a close friend to Grimsby's Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital for breast cancer treatment.
She said: "Although I have not had cancer myself, I was affected by it because of my friend. When she died in 2003 I was devastated, but the support I received from breast care nurses made me stay with the group and continue helping others.
"Over the years it has really opened my eyes to just how many people are affected by this horrible disease.
"The group has welcomed various guest speakers over the years to give informative talks on healthy eating, building self-esteem and more.
"The friends I have made over the past 12 years will be the most memorable parts for me and I wish the new group every success.
"I think a change will be good and will raise further awareness of the support available to those diagnosed.
"I want to thank all the members who helped me over the past 12 years and for my gifts received when I retired."
Bosom Buddies Support Group North East Lincolnshire is now up and running and anyone who would like to join the new group can do so at their next meeting on Monday, February 25, at the Pink Rose Suite at the hospital.
Sue Munday, president of the group, is looking forward to an exciting year ahead.
She said: "Margaret ran the Fresh Fields group herself and personally I think it was too much for one person to take on.
"Now there are eight of us working together to provide people affected by breast cancer the best support available.
"We have a treasurer and soon we will set up our own bank account and begin fundraising.
"This is something we've never done before and we are open to any ideas for fundraising events."
Sue says the group will miss Margaret dearly as she made a huge impact on others but wishes her well during retirement.
She said: "I was already attending Fresh Fields when Margaret became the leader, as I was diagnosed with breast cancer 14 years ago.
"You automatically think the worst will happen to you, it is natural to do so.
"However, what I and others in the group want to show people is that you can survive and come out the other end stronger from it all."
The National Cancer Information Service records the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer over a three year period and latest figures available show that between 2007 and 2009 in North East Lincolnshire, 384 women were living with the disease.