On Saturday, October 9, a sea of pink will sweep through Belfast as Action Cancer hosts its new breast cancer walk, Breast Foot Forward, sponsored by SuperValu.
Previously called The Bra Walk, it has a new name and a new date but the same great reason to take part. Walkers can choose from a 5K or a 10K route.
The charity is encouraging men, women and children of all ages to participate in the fun-filled family event.
Walkers will arrive at Belfast City Hall at 2pm helping to raise awareness of breast cancer and, importantly, funds for its unique life saving breast screening service.
Action Cancer is the only charity to provide this service for free to women aged 40-49 and over the age of 70; outside of NHS screening age range.
While each breast screening appointment is free to the user, though the cost to the charity is £120, which is why participation in this event is so important.
Last year’s event was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions meaning the charity lost out on over £70,000 of fundraising income.
Action Cancer consultant radiographer Joanna Currie said: “Despite losing out on 40 per cent of our fundraising income since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to provide our life saving breast screening service.
“We reopened our doors in August 2020 following the first lockdown and we have provided over 4,000 breast screening appointments to local ladies aged 40 to 49 and 70-plus, detecting around 20 cancers and providing peace of mind to thousands of others.
“Breast Foot Forward is taking place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month so it is the perfect time to remind all women of the importance of screening and being breast aware.
“Breast screening from 40 is proven to reduce deaths from breast cancer as cancers are found early.
“We encourage all women aged 50-70 to attend their local NHS screening facility when called and for women aged 40-49 and over 70, please continue to attend our Action Cancer service.
“Demand for appointments is high and you may have to book several months in advance but we assure you it’s worth the wait!”
Women with breast concerns are not eligible for screening but should be urgently assessed by a GP and referred to a breast symptomatic service for quicker investigation.
All participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of £120 in sponsorship, the amount it costs Action Cancer to provide digital breast screening for one woman.
It is anticipated that hundreds of walkers will take part in a controlled and safe environment, in line with whatever restrictions are in place at the time.
Every year Action Cancer helps to save and support 25,000 people across Northern Ireland through the delivery of its services, including the provision of 8,000 breast screening appointments at Action Cancer House and on board the Big Bus, supported by SuperValu and Centra.
For every 1,000 women screened, an average of five or six breast cancers are detected – hopefully at an early and treatable stage.
This is only possible because of the continued, generous support Action Cancer receives from the general public in Northern Ireland and through its charity partnership with SuperValu.
The charity needs your support now more than ever to continue with the work and help save lives.
Patricia McIlroy, Brand Manager from SuperValu, said: “As long-term partner of Action Cancer, SuperValu is delighted to sponsor this fantastic event and we would encourage families, friends and work colleagues from across Northern Ireland to get involved.
“Taking part in Breast Foot Forward is a great way to spread the message to all women to be breast aware as well as an opportunity to get fit, walk in memory of a loved one or support someone going through breast cancer.”
Online registration is now open with an early bird rate priced at £9 per adult and £4 per child, and everyone taking part will receive a bag for life and complimentary pink t-shirt.
So, grab your BFF, get all dressed up in pink, and step your way to the finish line with Action Cancer.