BREAST cancer survivors have described the finished Worcester breast unit as a dream come true after campaigning hard for years to help make it a reality.

Kate Butler and Susie Coleman, co-founders of fundraising group Breast Unit Events, have raised over £70,000 for the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign.

They had a chance to see for themselves the fruits of their labour during a guided tour tinged with sadness as they remembered those who were equally passionate about the the breast unit but did not survive to see it completed.

As previously reported in the Worcester News, the unit at 220 Newtown Road, on the site of the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, is scheduled to open the doors to patients next month.

The women were honoured to receive a personal guided tour of the new unit by their consultant surgeon, Mr Steven Thrush, towards the end of last year.

As patrons of the campaign and breast cancer survivors they have worked tirelessly to raise money for the unit since the charity was established in October, 2009.

Kate of Fernhill Heath, near Worcester and Susie of Warndon Villages, Worcester, said in a joint statement: “We couldn’t believe it when we walked into the unit seeing the dream of a dedicated place for breast care in Worcestershire become a reality.

"It is so light, spacious and welcoming. The colours are really calming and the facilities are excellent.

"It was a wonderful moment, but tinged with sadness as a number of our fellow fundraisers are very sadly no longer with us.

"We know Cherry Robinson would have been so proud of what’s been achieved, as we are. We can’t wait to see it open to patients who will benefit from this brand new facility set in peaceful grounds."

Susie Coleman and Kate Butler were original calendar girls for the launch of the campaign.

Both women had breast cancer surgery at a young age (Susie at 26 and Kate at 32) and both grew close because of their shared experience of enduring chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment.

The unit will be served by 18 parking spaces and two disabled spaces, all designated for patients.

The building itself includes a large reception area, a clinic nurse reception, a treatment room for checks and biopsies, five consulting rooms, a hub for meetings to discuss the needs of individual patients, a breast care nurse office, a counselling room, an x-ray reception, a mammography unit and an ultra-sound room.

With the capital project complete a new charity - the Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven - has been formed to manage the continuing needs of patients at the breast unit.