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Help me raise money to fight cancer

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 12:16 07 May 2010

Sara Burns - fundraising

Sara Burns - fundraising

A woman who has survived breast cancer, a mastectomy and a major operation to reconstruct her breast is organising a massive fundraising event to help others in the county who have the disease.

Sarah Hall

A woman who has survived breast cancer, a mastectomy and a major operation to reconstruct her breast is organising a massive fundraising event to help others in the county who have the disease.

Sarah Burns was just days away from celebrating her 40th birthday when she glanced in the mirror after having a shower one morning and was horrified to discover her left breast looked completely distorted.

She was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer and after months of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as having her breast removed and a hysterectomy, the 42-year-old now wants to help others in the same situation.

The mother-of-two has turned her experience into something positive and has worked tirelessly to organise “Boobies at the Boundary” which is a celebration of the female body with several bands, DJs, a Burlesque dancer, a raffle with big prizes and alternative stalls at the Boundary pub on Aylsham Road on May 25.

Ms Burns, from Bull Close Road, Norwich, is living proof that life doesn't end when you have breast cancer - in fact she says she is happier and more confident than ever before and wants to “pass on the positive message” to other women.

She said: “When you get told you have breast cancer you feel as if your life is falling apart. It is hard to describe to anyone how you feel.

“To be told you have a 50/50 chance of survival is devastating. But I also freaked out wondering what I would look like and how it would affect me. I was in a bubble a lot of the time just trying to get on with it.

“I hit rock bottom but I came out fighting. There is nothing that will give you a kick up the backside more than having to question your own mortality.

“I want this event to help others who are going through what I did but also to show that women are beautiful and sexy and to celebrate the female body.

“Life is about having fun and making the most of what you have and Boobies at the Boundary is for all women out there.”

Ms Burns is originally from Norwich but she moved to Spain three years ago with her former husband Tommy and children, Charlie, now 17 and Sam, 16.

She said she “just knew” she had breast cancer because her breast suddenly turned shrivelled and her nipple was inverted. She had to wait three horrendous weeks after the initial biopsy to find out if she had cancer and then began treatment in Spain which included chemotherapy and removal of her breast and lymph nodes.

She returned to the UK 18 months ago because she was feeling isolated but it took her a while to rebuild her life here. She said she was penniless when she came back and couldn't work because she was having treatment.

Ms Burns endured a nine hour operation at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to reconstruct her breast and she also had to have a hysterectomy because her cancer was oestrogen receptive so anything linked to the female hormone was removed for safety reasons.

Despite the painful operations and the slow kickstart to her life Ms Burns said she was forced to refocus. She said her children as well as the new man in her life Paschal Kenny, 43, have helped her to stay strong.

It is hoped at least £3,000 will be raised and this will go towards the Norwich Resource Fund based at the N&N and Breast Cancer UK. The Resource Fund provides support groups, classes, wigs, make up and events for people with cancer in Norfolk.

Anyone attending will have the chance to win a host of prizes, including a bass guitar and amp which was donated by Cash Convertors Music Shop in St Benedict's Street; a tattoo worth £150 from Styx tattooist in St Augustine's and a specially designed corset from Boobie Trap Corsets.

t Business owners who want to get involved with stall holding or prize giving for the event, or anyone interested in attending Boobies at the Boundary can call Ms Burns on 07784 199866.

t Have you battled back to fitness after life-saving surgery? Call Evening News health reporter Sarah Hall on 01603 772426 or email sarah.hall2@archant.co.uk

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