|Positive Parties delivered its very first party to the Pink Ladies Breast Cancer Support Group on the 25th May 2010. These ladies are amazing and with such strenght and positivity they befriend and support each other through a difficult time in their lives, though they still manage to fundraise and have lots of fun. I, Founder, Denise Devlin, had the privledge of working with them for 6 months and got to know the members and organisors very well. Karen Mullan and Michelle McLaren were involved in the initial discussions re. the 6 monthly Positive Parties. So it is with great pride that I now publish the excerpt of the application form which won Michelle ‘Contirbution to Health’ and made her the overall winner from 13 categoris for the Woman of the Year Award 2011 in the City Hotel Derry/L’derry on the 11/3/11. This positive person is a light among us and deserves this acknowledgement for her kindness, strength and commitment to others & her cause.
”Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer at 25years old and she has fought the disease and is coming out the other side. Michelle joined the Pink Ladies a charity organisation based at the Gasyard Centre to help and support other women who have been affected by breast cancer.Michelle is a vital part of the Pink Ladies she volunteers on a regular basis by providing weekly programmes, services and support to members. She has delivered breast awareness sessions in various settings throughout the City to a range of audiences. Having experienced breast cancer herself Michelle has an understanding of what women are going through and can advise and answer a lot of their questions. Michelle’s sister Kate is a nurse in the Sperrin Ward in Altnagelvin and Michelle has built up a relationship with many of the staff there and at the breast clinic. She uses her contacts to be able to inform the women of any unanswered medical questions they may have. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer it is difficult for her to take everything in and they may not get the opportunity or time at appointments to be fully informed and this is where Michelle has been able to help.
Michelle provides women with the support they need going through cancer treatment and afterwards, such as going with them to appointments, meeting or visiting them to see how they are doing, providing telephone support, advising on personal things such as taking the step to shave their heads, wigs and headscarves that suit and getting a prothesis that is right for them.
Over the past two years Michelle has been lobbying local MLA’s and Ministers at Stormont on issues such as securing the radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin, the cost of cancer and campaigning for the winter fuel payment for cancer patients.
Michelle is an ispiration to all women within our city.
She offers help, support and advice to all those in need.
She goes out of her way to do whatever she can to help women and their families.
She gives her time to strenthen and promote the Pink Ladies Group.
She is committed to raising breast awareness and lobbying for cancer services for the north west and tackling cancer poverty.
Michelle does all this whilst being a full time mum to two young children and studying at Magee.’
What more can I say? Nothing only, congratulations to Michelle, you are an inspiration to us all.