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Birmingham’s Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer saves lives, says Veronica Kumeta
Co-Founder and Chairman of Birmingham’s Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, Veronica Kumeta, chats to Charityzine about her remarkable charity.
Why did you decide to set up the Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer charity?
The inspiration behind the charity came from a dear friend Carol Knaggs, who was battling breast cancer. I wanted to do as much as I could to help, and so myself and another friend, Sue MacMasters, set up the charity as a way to raise funds for Carol, and other sufferers in the Birmingham area.
Can you tell us a little about the charity itself?
The charity was set up in June 2000, with the aim of providing equipment for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Since then, we have donated more than £1 million of screening equipment to the hospital, and aim to raise a further £1 million by the end of 2014.
The charity is made up of 17 volunteers who are all extremely passionate and dedicated to the cause. We’ve also been lucky enough to secure some great Patrons in Lord and Lady Digby Jones, Live 24-Seven managing director Katie McPhilimey and previous global director of Jaguar, Geoff Cousins. They have all shown great support for the work LFBC does and have helped us to develop the charity’s fundraising potential.
What does the charity do in Birmingham?
Everything the charity does is extremely specific to Birmingham and the surrounding areas. The money raised all goes towards helping local people and so all of our events are held in the region.
What upcoming events are being held?
We have a lot of really great things in the pipeline. Firstly there’s our Chick Flick screening of ‘Mamma Mia’ which is taking place at The Giant Screen at Millennium Point. It’s happening on 7th March and tickets cost just £10 and include a glass of rose blush. You can buy tickets here.
We’ve also got a jam packed summer with everything from the AEGON Classic to the Dallas Burston Polo Day, and lots of smaller fundraisers in between; but no doubt October will be our busiest time of year as it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The biggest event will be The Show; a catwalk spectacular which features breast cancer sufferers and survivors walking the runway in the season’s latest fashions. We hosted a similar event in 2010 which proved to be the most successful ever in terms of fundraising, and also provided laughter, tears and a wonderful celebration of life. On top of that there’s our Symphony Hall Music Extravaganza and fundraising dinner, as well as a few surprises thrown in for good measure.
What are your most significant achievements to date?
I think that what’s most significant is the amount of money we have raised over the past 12 years. We’ve already been able to provide the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with an £80,000 mobile mammogram unit which given our size is amazing.
We’ve also recently been named as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s official breast cancer charity, which is a great honour.
What do you hope to achieve in the near future?
Obviously our key goal at the moment is to reach our £1 million target but after that who knows? We’re passionate about what we do and so we’ll continue to raise funds for as long as we’re needed; a lifetime if that’s what it takes.
How can people get involved with the charity?
We’re always keen for people to get involved, either by attending our events or hosting their own. In the past six months we’ve had people host fashion shows, pub suppers, sponsored waxes and even sign up to the London Marathon on our behalf.
How can people donate?