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Polly's story

Polly lost her mum, Debbie, to breast cancer in 2007 and set up a fund in her name. With the support of her husband, friends and family, she has since gone on to raise over £50,000 in her memory.

My mum had such a love of life. She had an amazing ability to bring people together and make them feel wanted. She was a fierce mum, a fierce friend, full of advice, impossible to forget. She was one of the girls. I remember road trips across Europe, piled into our tiny car with the windows down, music blasting – she was forever planning her next trip. I always think, “What would mum have done?” She was such an enormously loving, positive, passionate presence in our lives; she’s still very much with us in spirit.

When you see someone you love suffer so much, it makes you want to take action – we wanted something good to come out of our heart-break.

Polly Barnes

I try to remember our happy times, before mum got sick. When you see someone you love suffer so much, it makes you want to take action – we wanted something good to come out of our heart-break. We started by asking for donations instead of presents at our wedding, and since then we’ve held all sorts of fundraising events, from local bake sales to charity rugby matches.

My husband and I decided to set up a fund in mum’s memory because breast cancer is something that touches so many lives – it affected my family and it will affect so many more. Every single day, there are people in hospital being diagnosed, being treated, passing away – because of breast cancer. I wanted us to come together to fundraise in mum’s name so we don’t forget that.

The research being done by Breast Cancer Now is second to none. The only way we’re going to help other families in the future is by researching now. We have an obligation to the next generation to stop breast cancer stealing the lives of our loved ones. It makes it much easier to ask for money from people at the events we organise if we can explain how the research Breast Cancer Now funds is going to save lives.

The fund gives us a reason to talk about breast cancer – to hold events, get people together and increase awareness of the disease. We need to face up to breast cancer if we’re going to put an end to it.

This is for you, mum.

See Polly's Fund in Memory of her mum.

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