The Giving to Pink Story

A group of people whose lives have been touched in some way by Breast Cancer. Some of us have been patients and others amongst the group do a wonderful job at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital supporting people through and after treatment. Others have supported a friend or loved one who has been affected.

Clare Smart, originally from Pontypridd founded Giving to Pink (GTP) during her own journey through Breast Cancer. Whilst in the middle of her treatment she organised a number of fundraising events and in no time raised over £10,000. The Health Board put Clare in touch with like minded patients and with their support GTP has gone from strength to strength.

Giving to Pink is following in the footsteps of a project that took place in the Llanelli area. The Peony Centre at the Prince Phillip Hospital offers a Breast Care Facility that has been likened to a five star hotel rather than an NHS Unit. The Community and Businesses in Llanelli raised significant amounts of money to help make the Peony Centre a reality. Cwm Taf University Health Board are already looking at centralising their Breast Care provision and there is an ongoing consultation process to decide which hospital this centralised unit will be based at.

Giving to Pink is raising the money needed to make this Unit extra special. Our money is specifically to be spent on upgrading the facilities available, Bathrooms, Wards etc. We want to make this Unit somewhere where patients will have the best possible environment in which to recover from Breast Cancer.

 

Clare Smart, along with a team of 30 people, have set up Giving to Pink in a bid to improve cancer services in the Cwm Taf Health Board region

Clare Smart with her husband Gareth (left), her sons Max and Harry and her consultant breast surgeon Eifion Vaughan Williams

Clare Smart with her husband Gareth (left), her sons Max and Harry and her consultant breast surgeon Eifion Vaughan Williams

A mum-of-two who was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 months ago has thanked her “incredible” community for helping her raise more than £60,000.

Human resources manager Clare Smart had just finished a swimming session with a friend when she discovered an indentation in her breast in March 2014.

She was referred by her GP to a specialist breast surgeon who diagnosed her with lobular breast cancer – a type of tumour tough to detect.

Just a fortnight later, the brave mum underwent a mastectomy and a two stage subpectoral reconstruction.

'I didn't know what had hit me'

“I was so shocked to find out I had breast cancer. As a mother of two primary school aged children I didn’t know what had hit me,” she said.

The 48-year-old then needed six cycles of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiotherapy in a bid to shrink the tumour and rid her of the disease.

Just six months after her ordeal, Clare and a group of fellow cancer survivors set up ‘Giving to Pink’ to give something back to the Welsh NHS.

Clare Smart (bottom row, second from left) with other members of Giving to Pink

Clare Smart (bottom row, second from left) with other members of Giving to Pink

Their aim is to donate £100,000 to set up a specialist breast care centre within Cwm Taf University Health Board, which covers Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.

And just 12 months after launching ‘Giving to Pink’, more than £60,000 has been raised through a variety of events and donations.

She said creating the campaign gave her a focus during a time of great trauma, distress and uncertainty.

Clare, who grew up in Pontypridd and now lives in Morganstown, said: “Breast cancer patients receive excellent care at Cwm Taf University Health Board but I would like to see the environment and facilities being able to match those care standards.

“Previous patients like me and our families are very grateful for the outstanding care that we have received.

“The money we raise will help to bring a dedicated unit within Cwm Taf – a place where patients can be treated within a centre of excellence.”

Source Wales Online

Two major events coming up

Communities across South Wales, along with several businesses, have organised fundraising events including lunches, fun days, shopping trips, cake sales and walks.

Beddau Rugby Club alone raised a huge £12,000 after organising a charity rugby match and fun day.

Clare has also praised her two young children, Max, eight; and Harry, seven, for their courage during a turbulent time for the family.

“They are massively into Giving to Pink – they sleep and breathe it.

“They know exactly what breast cancer is, and I’m so proud of them for constantly trying to raise money.”

Giving to Pink has two major events coming up which the team hopes will tip them over the £100,000 mark.

The year culminates with the “Glitz & Glam Ball” at the Vale Hotel in Hensol and a gala dinner at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Clare added: “Giving to Pink is run on a completely voluntary basis. We are supported by the infrastructure of Cwm Taf University Health Board who hold charitable status.

“We are eternally grateful for the generosity of the local businesses and supporters that make this possible.

“I can’t thank people enough for their continued support and hard work. I couldn’t possibly list them all as there are so many people to thank.

“There have been some amazing fundraising achievements over the last few months. Well done everybody”.

Samantha Williams, directorate manager for surgery at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “We are proud to provide support to the Giving to Pink campaign, and continue to work towards the provision of a dedicated breast unit for the health board.”

Raising Awareness

Giving to Pink aims to raise awareness of the need for a specialist breast care unit within Cwm Taf Health Board, a centre of Excellence that South East Wales can be proud of.

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