1 in 7 UK females will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Eloise Dobson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. With four young children and a fight for survival on her hands, she still found the time to think of others.
By Olivia Widdowson: @WiddowsonOlivia | Image courtesy of Eloise Dobson
Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 10,000 women around the world die from this specific cancer each week. The risk increases with age, and around four out of five women diagnosed with the disease are aged fifty or above. Scientific evidence shows having a strong family history of breast cancer or a previous diagnosis of the disease increases the risk.
After being told she had breast cancer, Eloise’s friends Deborah Sawyer and sister Lucy Spencer started a charity to raise money for the Nottingham Breast Institute as Eloise was treated there. “My sister (Lucy) and her friend said they wanted to organise a charity ball as well in memory of their friend Samantha Black who had originally been diagnosed with breast cancer and then tragically passed away in December 2016 when the disease spread.” They named the charity The Black and Green Ball “as my maiden name was Green and Samantha’s surname was Black we came up with the name like that we thought it would be good to have a theme to engage people and make it memorable and the link with our names seemed to make sense.”
At the moment, Eloise is patiently waiting for her next operation in her treatment after she heroically overcame the disease and is now a survivor. Eloise’s oldest daughter, Molly, describes her mum as being “hard working, compassionate and strong.”
Whilst running her charity, working and being a mum to four young children whilst battling breast cancer, Eloise’s life was pretty full on. “I was given the all-clear following my mastectomy, so I didn’t feel ill at all during the time we were organising the ball, which was good, it was time consuming and working full time with young children was tricky at times, but my sister and her friend (Debs) were amazing”. “We had so much support from our friends, family and local community it was amazing, we were so lucky. We also called in favours from people we knew, for example, the band was a family friend, raffle prizes were donated by friends and local businesses.”
Recently, the women were nominated for an award at the NU Honours Awards, which is an awards ceremony for people linked to the Nottingham University Hospital The event was supported by Nottingham Evening Post and the awards night consisted of a drinks reception, evening meal and then presentation. The Black and Green Ball won the People’s Champion Award. “We were totally shocked that we won, we really didn’t expect it at all, says Eloise. We were not expecting to even be nominated, so it was a huge honour to receive the award. It has definitely inspired us, and we are organising another ball for next year, it’s a great feeling to be recognised for something you have organised.”
The Charity held their ball event at Colwick Hall, Nottingham, in May and raised an amazing £23,000. “We set out to raise a target of £10-15,000 which we thought would be a stretch, but the support we got from friends, family, colleagues and local businesses was beyond anything we could have imagined or hoped for”. “When you raise money for Nottingham University Hospitals, you can actually choose a “thing” to buy with the money you raised “so along with several other organisations the organisers put their money to buying “a new state of the art digital mammography machine. The machine offers a more accurate diagnosis and is more comfortable to use.”