Mum would have been so proud of my volunteering’

A HAMPSTEAD woman who has beaten breast cancer and lost her mother to the disease has been nominated for an award from a leading cancer charity.

Rachel Brown

A HAMPSTEAD woman who has beaten breast cancer and lost her mother to the disease has been nominated for an award from a leading cancer charity.

Freda Hooberman-Deere, 60, from Adamson Road, will find out if she's won Breast Cancer Campaign's Volunteer of the Year award later this month at a ceremony at the House of Lords.

"When my mum was diagnosed it was pretty horrendous. It changed my life," she said.


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"Having cancer is never good news - but it was much worse then. There weren't as many treatments and they weren't as good.

"She went for the operation not knowing whether she'd have a mastectomy. It was done there and then - not like today when you'd discuss it first. She was a very strong and brave woman - she did brilliantly."

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After the ordeal of seeing her mother suffer and die from the disease, Ms Hooberman-Deere was herself diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.

"A routine mammogram threw up that something wasn't quite right. I was just amazed," she said.

"At the time my husband had cancer and died of cancer a year later, in 2002. I was more concerned about supporting and caring for him."

Thanks to the support of family and friends, she battled the disease and then turned her energies to helping the Breast Cancer Campaign. She has helped in the offices and organised numerous events for them.

"It means a lot to me to support this charity. I know my mum would be very proud," she said.

"Breast Cancer Campaign have supported me and enormously boosted my morale. If I can do the tiniest bit to help someone else, that's invaluable.

"I work in the offices and do whatever's needed. Often it's mundane work, but I don't mind. It's useful because it frees other staff to do other things."

And her efforts have not gone unnoticed. She is now in the running to receive the charity's Volunteer of the Year award.

The charity works to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise money through events such as the annual Generations Walk on Hampstead Heath.

At a 'Wear it Pink' day, Ms Hooberman-Deere even managed to raise £1,500 by wearing pink clothes.

"Better treatments are available now - I've benefited from this and the charity's work," she added.

"Out of all the cancer charities Breast Cancer Campaign is the only one that's not tied to a hospital - it does all the fundraising itself. I think my mum would be very proud. And that helps me."

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk

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