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"Come on, you Pier walkers" says Connie, 86

22 March 2013


She may be in her 80s, but age hasn’t stopped great-grandmother Connie Bush taking part in the annual Great Pier Walk for the past 11 years.

The reason is simple - Connie, 87 this August, was treated for breast cancer at Southend Hospital 31 years ago, went on to make a full recovery and cannot praise staff at the unit enough.

And although a nasty bout of bronchitis means the doughty dowager won't be stepping out this year, she is urging people to put their best foot forward this Easter Sunday, March 31 when the event takes place.

The Great Pier Walk is organised by Leigh-on-Sea Rotary Club, with proceeds going toSouthendHospital's Bosom Pals Appeal On The Road (see below).

Back in 1982 Connie, who lives in Thundersley, had part of her breast removed followed by radiotherapy and then chemotherapy. She had discovered a lump while she was having a bath and went to her GP the next day.

"I did feel a bit sick then they told me it was cancer," she says. "But I'm a firm believer that it's no good moaning. If you are miserable, it's not fair on your family.

"And anyway, everyone at the hospital was lovely, particularly Dr [Colin] Trask."

Connie's late husband Alfred was a staunch Rotarian, and the couple always took part in the walk when it began more than a decade ago. It was a tradition Connie continued after Alfred, a D-Day veteran, died in 2005.

"It is such a wonderful thing to do, to raise money for such a good cause," she says. "I've always believed in keeping active, and this is a good way of getting out to get some fresh air and helping the charity."

Although she has been laid low this March, under normal circumstances Connie thinks nothing of a brisk three or four mile walk - and when friends or family visit, the natural choice of destination is very often … the Pier. 

  • Fancy taking part? The event takes place at the Pier from 10am-4pm. Entry is£5 for adults, £2.50 children, £3 and £6 on the day. For more details call the hospital's fundraising department on 01702 385337 

Bosom Pals Appeal On The Road

The Appeal is to buy digital equipment for the mobile screening vans acrossSouth Essex.

This will ensure women in southEssexget the same access to digital mammography as women screened at the hospital's breast unit.

The equipment costs £500,000 and the Appeal needs to raise around £100,000 more before it ends in October.

It follows the hospital's successful £750,000 Bosom Pals Appeal, launched in May 2009, which has funded two digital mammography machines for the earlier detection of smaller breast cancers, as well as associated IT equipment for the hospital's breast unit.

To find out more please contact the department of fundraising:

Tel: 01702 385337

Email@ fundraising@southend.nhs.uk

Web: www.sh-cf.org