BREAST cancer survivors and best friends have set up a new fundraising organisation in their spare time to raise vital funds for a life-saving breast unit.

Susie Coleman and Kate Butler have set up Breast Unit Events ( and aim to raise £50,000 to help make sure work starts as soon as possible on Worcester's new unit based at 220 Newtown Road, on the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site. Their first event is a "Snow Ball” at the Bank House Hotel in Bransford, near Worcester, on Saturday, December 6.

Susie Coleman and Kate Butler both had breast cancer at a young age (26 and 32), and had the same breast surgeon, Steven Thrush, based at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester who put them in touch with each other for support.

They both endured surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and five years of hormone treatment. They are also charity patrons and were two of the original calendar girls who launched the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign. Both have already raised nearly £40,000 towards the unit but now want to bring in £50,000 on top of that with a series of events, big and small, to boost funds.

Mrs Butler, aged 38, of Agatha Gardens, Fernhill Heath, near Worcester, said: "The ball is only the beginning. We have been very passionate about the unit since the campaign was launched in October 2009. The campaign is only about £60,000 away from being able to put the first spade in the ground although that isn't the end of the fundraising. The breast unit will be a one stop shop where you don't have to go here, there and everywhere for treatment. You will be able to get concentrated breast care in one place more quickly." She said she wanted to see the unit open in honour of those friends she had lost to the disease, including fellow calendar girls Cherry Robinson and Christell O'Shea.

She added: "It's Steven Thrush's vision. We want to do it for him because he saved our lives. We can see the finishing line. We just want to get across it."

Mrs Coleman, aged 36, of Warndon Villages, Worcester, is now the mother of a 15 month-old boy, Lucas, after being told my doctors she may never be able to have children because the chemotherapy may have damaged her fertility.

She said of the ongoing campaign for the unit: "All of the specialisms will be under one roof. It is about being seen quickly. When you present with symptoms or a lump and are referred to a specialist you want it to be in a non-clinical environment. We hope the vision for the breast unit will be that that little bit more relaxed and not feel so clinical in the waiting rooms.

"Hopefully there will also be complementary therapies on offer as well as the breast cancer support groups. Kate and I hope we can be the first through the doors for a positive reason - to see the unit open. It is the 10 year anniversary of me being clear of cancer. I have mixed feelings. Even though you're 10 years clear, in your mind, psychologically, it's always with you. They can say 'you're clear' but they can never say you're cured and you will never get it again. It is like a rollercoaster ride you're never going to get off."

The Snow Ball is being organised by the breast cancer survivors, which will have a smart dress code (black tie and ball gowns) and the venue will feature a black and silver colour scheme with a hint of pink, a symbol of the fight against the disease. Both women hope the ball will raise more than £10,000 for the unit.

The fundraiser will feature live band, Come Together, a raffle and an auction with "fabulous prizes". The ball begins at 7pm and runs until late on Saturday, December 6. The hotel venue has kindly been provided free of charge to maximise funds for the unit while the logo design and printing for the ball has also been provided free, courtesy of 773C.

The ball has been organised with the help of Kellie Mason and Helen Mullen and will also include two bottles of wine (red and white) per table. Tickets are £45 each and are on sale now.

To support Breast Unit events text BUEV99 £5 (or more if you can afford it) to 70070 or visit

Their Twitter address is @bu_events

The Facebook address is

To buy tickets for the ball contact or for a booking form