Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago, resulting in a mastectomy. Although given the all-clear, she still attends Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) for regular check-ups, although these are just once a year.
Not only did Maggie make a full recovery, but she has gone on to continue her active life and is key to the BOSIES venture, being manager of the shop. She explains: “I am very excited at the prospect of working to raise funds that will have a positive impact for sufferers, carers and families of those with breast cancer in the Aberdeen area.”
“Running a charity shop is something I know well and along with the whole family, we are passionate about this venture which, for me, is more personal, as it will allow me to say ‘thank you’ to those who helped me win my battle.”
The funds that BOSIES raise, both from the shop and external events, will go to the ARI ‘Breast Cancer Research Clinic’, run by Professor Heyes and ward 42, which is the dedicated breast cancer treatment and recovery ward.
Debbie says: “We aim to benefit the ward through equipment purchases and also help to improve the environment for palliative patients and their families. Above all, we want every penny raised to benefit the people of Aberdeen and the surrounding areas.
“Aberdeen’s Royal Infirmary cancer research clinic and ward 42 have an excellent reputation throughout the country for rapid consultation and treatment in the field and anything we can do to help them maintain and further improve this, is our mission.
Debbie goes on to explain just how much it means to have Maggie running the shop: “Mum is an amazingly enthusiastic person, who is greatly admired and respected. She has quite a ‘following’ too, as some staff have literally moved with her from charity shop to charity shop. So we should have no volunteer staffing recruitment problems!
Above all, she is completely dedicated to trying to make a difference as she knows exactly what it is like to be diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Maggie feels that it is not just by raising funds that she can help those who have the condition. “Sometimes it is easier for patients and their family to speak with someone who has been through the journey they are currently on.
Despite the tremendous anxiety most people have, it is important to try and remain POSITIVE and perhaps this is where I can help, as an example of someone who has ‘come out the other side’. It may be reassuring therefore for some people to pop by the shop and just have a chat with me.”
Debbie agrees: “I think this is where our name BOSIES comes into it’s own, we would like to become more than just fund-raisers.”