Evelyn Meeks with her Big Cuppa

Evelyn Meeks

Location

Marsham, North Norfolk

Condition

Evelyn fought breast cancer and is now in remission.

What happened

Evelyn was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Secondary cancer was found in her lymphatic glands under her arm but the medical team couldn’t find the primary cancer in her breast as all tests came back negative. This is her story. 

 “ Following doctors’ advice, I decided to have my breast removed. Cancer was subsequently discovered in the left breast after the mastectomy. The doctors believed that the tissue was so dense that the cancer couldn’t be readily detected. As a precaution, in December 2008, I had a further operation to have my right breast removed as well.

I started a course of chemotherapy. I knew I could lose my hair. The reality of that was more traumatic than losing my breast. My hairdresser suggested having my head shaved as soon as I noticed my hair falling out. I had my head shaved and a wig fitted. When I tried to pay my hairdresser, he would not accept my cash. It was only then that I became emotional. I just desperately wanted life to be normal. I didn’t want to be seen as an ill person, a victim.

I found the Big C Centre through my breast care nurse. It’s such a welcoming place; the staff and volunteers are so friendly. They told me about the scarf tying sessions. That was a turning point for me. It was a very important moment during my time of treatment. I suddenly had something that made me feel more comfortable, more me, more normal. I wanted to give something back.

We hold an annual summer event at the caravan site that we own, so I decided to use it to support Big C. Last year we had a Big C Cuppa – a coffee and cake morning. It was successful, and we raised over £1200. This year we went even further. We had the Cuppa but with a guitar and a ‘bring and buy’ sale! I put an advert in the local magazine and sent personal invitations as well. We had over 175 people attend. There was a raffle, a live head shave, music and a cake auction. The highlight of the morning was the vast array of homemade cakes that were baked by family and friends. The ‘bring and buy’ sale was also very popular – a suggestion from a friend - I’d been a little apprehensive about it but it was a huge success - I’m glad I listened to her. We were able to hand over over £2,200 this year to Big C.

Important funds for Big C were raised to enable it to continue providing services like the scarf tying that I found so helpful. It also brought our local community together. It gave each person who came a sense of contribution to an extremely worthwhile cause. Everyone gave something, particularly some of our caravaners who supported the event with great enthusiasm. Everyone had a great time. The event gave us common purpose as a community.

After all, this is Big C’s ultimate aim - to keep people together. What can be more important than that?”
 


If Evelyn has inspired you to donate to Big C, click here