Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Simple acts of kindness can change a lot.

In a week that had the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Board come to Scotland, saw the launch of Breakthrough 100 and held a parliamentary reception to launch Breast cancer Awareness month I will admit to have shed a few tears. OK some may have been about how sore my feet were by the end of Thursday and others maybe on Monday when the alarm went off and I realised a new week had begun, but mostly it was because at all the events I attended last week there was raw honesty about the impact of breast cancer on people.
We hadn’t allowed a pink glow to prettify breast cancer and tidy up the traces. We faced it squarely and said we as group of people and as an organisation have the desire and ambition to change breast cancer for good.
 
And the pink explosion of October is a very important part of raising funds for all our work. So every pink item sold (not telling you what I just bought in M&S but it is very pretty!), every pink pin bought, every pink party enjoyed will help to save lives and I thank you all for the part you play. But let’s not pretend that raising awareness alone will do that. We need a call to action too and this month we are urging everyone to be aware of the 5 common signs of breast cancer. If you want a copy of our TLC campaign which you can have to remind you of them, then text SIGNS on 84424 and we will send it to you. As the twitter hashtag says the key message is #morethanalump.
 
I really met some fantastic women last week, all of them interested in our work and many immediately signing up as part of Breakthrough100 to raise their £1000 to support our work here in Scotland. Not all of them directly impacted on by breast cancer, but all of them understanding that this is a cause important to each and every woman. And through supporting us they in turn are part of a great network of women all united in a common cause and can enjoy that sense of community and purpose too. I suspect there will be the odd party along the way too. What could be better? We would love to hear from you if you would like to join us.
 
The parliamentary reception i mentioned was hosted by Jackie Baillie the health spokesperson for the Labour party and addressed by the new Cabinet secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil but I think it was Elizabeth who stole the show. She told her tale of tough times including being widowed before her own breast cancer diagnosis. She had to check with a friend whether the symptom she had was something to worry about. Luckily her friend urged her to seek treatment straight away. Her tale was a harrowing one but if I am honest the part that was my undoing in her talk was the description of a very simple act of kindness by the theatre nurse who seeing her distress arranged for her to have her husbands photo by her side as she went into and came out of theatre. A simple act that gave her great comfort. We all found it hard to speak after that.

And it reminds us that simple acts can change so much. As the cabinet secretary said we can all make a difference, spreading the word about breast awareness. And we can all do simple acts of kindness too that change someone's life, however small.

Reasons to be cheerful. Simple it's the acts of kindness, goodness and passion to make a difference that cheer me each and every day.And cat and dog relations are improving, slightly.. Koshka has assumed position of King.

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