A determined patient at Whipps Cross Hospital has fundraised for Barts Charity, supporting the breast cancer unit where she was treated, as well as creating her own ‘drain bags’ to give to patients with breast cancer.
Nadia had been a regular patient at breast treatment clinics at Whipps Cross Hospital for over 10 years, when a screening earlier this year led to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
“I had my mammogram as part of the breast screening programme for ladies aged 50,” said Nadia. “When I got the diagnosis I was angry, scared and wondering what the future held.”
Nadia had a mastectomy and was reassured by her surgeon that she would get an implant as soon as the operation was complete – as Nadia said, “the thought of not having a breast when I awoke was awful.” A couple of weeks later, she was given the all clear.
Determined to give back to help current and future patients on the wards, she’s since gone on to raise over £3,300 for Barts Charity with family and friends with a garden party, as well as coming up with a creative solution for the drain bags that patients with breast cancer can use.
Drain bags are used following the removal of tissue during surgery, to collect fluids that drain from the body following an operation. Nadia discovered that many patients hide their drain bags in plastic bags when they travel, and thought this was a little “undignified”. She decided to do something about it.
During her recovery she began making pretty, fashionable and discreet drain bags using a sewing machine. She got family and friends to help, and then donated the bags to patients attending the clinics at Whipps Cross.
“I bought some fabric, ribbon and little silver pendants with the word ‘believe’ on them. My friend helped me sew them, and together we made about 40 bags.”
They were incredibly popular and she’s been struggling to keep up with the demand!
Nadia also went one big step further and decided to organise and host a garden party, raising funds for the breast cancer unit so staff can improve their service for patients.
“My dream is to open a restaurant, so this was great practice!” said Nadia. “The event took two days of cooking and preparation, and we worked with friends, family, local butchers and grocers and many more people to put on the best event possible.”
Over 70 people came to the party, and Nadia has raised an amazing £3,300 so far – which will be a big boost to the breast cancer unit at Whipps Cross. She’s now looking to make this a yearly event.
And Nadia is not stopping there. “I want to double this total with more fundraising later this year. I’m also looking to launch a breast cancer awareness drive for secondary school girls – it’s so important that we drive this awareness to help more people get treatment as soon as possible.”