Best friends Kathy Gilmour and Yasmin Williams have a lot to be thankful for.
A year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Ms Gilmour has been given the all clear and is ready to get on with living.
Together, the pair has delivered a $7500 donation to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute to help staff better support the people they care for.
The funds were raised by Ms Williams who, in a show of support and love, vowed to lose her long locks of hair in a charity fundraiser as Ms Gilmour lost hers while undergoing chemotherapy.
What started as a $3000 goal soon burgeoned into a generous donation that will be used to buy medical equipment.
“I keep thinking to myself how lucky Kath was to have been able to stay in her home town surrounded by her family and friends while she had all her specialist appointments, tests, chemotherapy, an operation and radiation,” Ms Williams said.
“If it wasn't for the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute in Port Macquarie, she would have had to spend days away from her loved ones which is never easy, let alone when you are fighting cancer.
“My obsession with my wilful hair has always been a part of who I am but, to be honest, I didn't really get how lucky I was to have this crazy hair of mine until I watched my BFF lose her hair while undergoing chemotherapy.
We are so grateful to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute who provided our life-saving treatment and enabled us to have a future.
“It was then I decided I would chop my hair in support of Kath and all those beautiful bald men and women living with cancer.”
Ms Gilmour was diagnosed with cancer just four weeks after her brother received his cancer diagnosis. Her brother also recently received the ‘all clear’.
“We are so grateful to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute who provided our life-saving treatment and enabled us to have a future,” Ms Gilmour said.
“Yas’ Chop for a Cause is aiming to give back to this facility so the awesome staff can keep supporting those with cancer and assist them to kick it to the kerb like we have!”
The Corporate Relations Coordinator for the Mid North Coast Local Health District, Sharon Fuller, said the MNCCI team was extremely grateful for the support.
“We have a fantastic team at the MNCCI. Donations help them to make a real difference because it’s not just a financial contribution; it’s a way they can improve patient care which is at the heart of everything they do,” Ms Fuller said.
“Yasmin and Kathy are giving so much more than a donation – they are giving hope, comfort and support to our patients, which is priceless.”
Mini Field of Women
Port Macquarie-Hastings Breast Cancer Support Group will host its Mini Field of Women event on Friday, September 15.
The event will mark the group's 14th anniversary and will be held outside Port Macquarie library from 9.30am-1pm.
One hundred pink lady silhouettes will be placed in the garden outside the library.
Members of the public are invited to attend and join members for a free morning tea at the library at 11am.
Kathryn Stephens will be guest speaker and will be joined by her guide dog Gulliver.