SLIDESHOW: Breast friends step out on fundraising crusade

Best friends have become Breast-Friends and all in the name of a charity crusade.

When Colette Rusher, 50, of Station Road, Graizelound first stepped out to undertake a walking challenge just two years ago, little did she realise what it would lead to.

Breast-Friends having completed a 20 mile walk.

Breast-Friends having completed a 20 mile walk.

Having completed the London Moon Walk, raising £1,400 in the process, she was bitten by the charity bug.

And now she, and a group of pals, regularly meet up to take part in events for worthy causes under the name of Breast-Friends.

Colette takes up the story: “My first walk was in 2013, inspired by a friend who had walked the London Moon Walk in 2011 I felt I would like to face the 26 mile night walk challenge.

“Each year I raise money for charities in one form or another and so in 2013 felt that Breast Cancer would be my chosen cause. So May 11 we made our way to London and pounded the streets of London completing our 26 mile walk in six hours 50 minutes.

“It was a wonderful challenge and achievement and I personally raised £1,400.”

She went on: “Over the previous seven years as a Pilates instructor I offered classes for people from all walks of life and for all abilities.

“Working closely with so many, mainly, women, I have found that breast cancer has affected lots of ladies lives whether it be themselves rehabilitating or family and friends that they were support systems for.

“My class programs would have elements of exercises that would help these ladies and they were included in the classes to help lots of other ladies discreetly to maintain mobility and movement in their body for rehabilitating.

“I was surprised myself to know of so many cases, there are many great causes to support, but I feel this one is one that could affect me and so many other people that I began to make Breast Cancer Care my focus of helping raise awareness and funds for as a charity so it can continue to offer its support to as many people and families that are affected.”

Colette currently hosts classes in the Auckley area of Doncaster as well as Westwoodside and Epworth.

Colette continued: “My 2013 walk inspired some of my clients who felt they would also like to do the walk/challenge for this charity so in 2014 I created a team called Breast-Friends, decided that the Pink Ribbonwalk at Chatsworth offered lots of option for ladies to join having it be a ten or 20 mile walk. Fifteen ladies joined the team and we started our crusade.”

Since launching the group have raised £6,300 in total for Breast Cancer Care, last year alone they raised £4,500.

Breast-Friends were due to continue their fundraising last weekend, with 16 ladies expected to take to the Peak District to walkt ten or 20 miles.

Infographic

An estimated 570,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with breast cancer

More than 80% of breast cancer cases are discovered when the woman feels a lump

Long-term smokers have an increased risk of getting breast cancer by 35% to 50%

A lack of physical activity has been linked to 10% of cases

Around 12,000 women and 80 men will die from breast cancer each year