I was first diagnosed with primary breast cancer three years ago but unfortunately last year I found out that this had progressed to secondary breast cancer.
Secondary breast cancer means although treatable it’s no longer curable, and I wanted to make more people aware of this. Make 2nds Count was created to help people with this condition. Previously there wasn’t anything out there before to support people with it.
I became involved with the charity over a year ago and it has really helped me cope with my diagnosis and treatment. My friend and fellow breast cancer sufferer, Carol Robinson, and I decided to do something to give back.
We had organised charity events before. Each year we have had a theme. So this year we decided to hold a ball at Melville Castle for Make 2nds Count, with a Proclaimers theme. Then we thought why not do “Sunshine on Dalkeith” rather than “Sunshine on Leith”, and from there our event began to unfold and grow. All the planning culminated in a Charity Ball being held on Friday 15th November in Melville Castle with 150 enthusiastic women. The evening consisted of speeches, videos, a fabulous dance routine and singing from the amazing KIC dancers, dinner, raffle, an auction and plenty of dancing to the incredible M8’s band.
Each year we have shown a video or film clip that we have made and this year was no different. We decided to parody the Proclaimer’s classic “I’m on my way” but changed the lyrics to be both Dalkeith and Make 2nds Count based. It became a full scale production with it being filmed over a couple of days in and around Dalkeith and then we put down the track at Lasswade High School and thereafter pulled the video together. It got such a great reaction on the evening that we decided to post it on social media along with a Just giving link to the charity. We really couldn’t believe the reaction that it got, it went viral!! 76,000 views on Facebook so far!. The daughter (Eva Smart) of a friend felt inspired to sing her own song after seeing the video and between the two videos we raised an additional £4,000 taking the total raised from the evening to over £18,000! Even the Proclaimer’s posted it on their FB page and on their website! It’s been quite phenomenal the reaction online and it was even picked up by the Midlothian Advertiser who ran an article on it. Carol and I were at The Restoration Yard in Dalkeith and people were coming up to us to say they loved it! At the Charity Ball we had video messages of support from: Grant Stott, Craig Hill, ‘Boaby the Barman’ from Still Game and the Proclaimers.
There was so many people who helped us in making such an amazing video and making the night such a success but we really couldn’t have done it without the following fabulous people: Sharon Jones, Gail Watson, Cheryl Smith, Sarah McFarlane, Ryan, Phil Alexander, Lorna, Phil Bowen, the amazing KIC dancers, Sarah McKiernan, Arlene Bryen, Adrienne Allen, Christine Aitken, Michelle Bowen and the M8’s band.
Our sole aim is to raise money to help research to try to prolong lives. We are also trying to educate people about secondary breast cancer and provide support for people living with it.
Yours in Hope