When I think of my closest girlfriends I think of Angela.
Angela and I have huge history and we can really talk and laugh. And laugh. And laugh. (and yes that second laugh was there for a reason – we laugh a lot)
Lately we have been talking about hosting a Girls Night In. Cue: great excitement because there is nothing finer than gathering the girls together for a drink, a laugh and a bit of a marathon catch up session. I mean who wouldn’t look forward to a night with good friends?
But this night we are planning is a little bit different to the other girls’ nights we have had together. This Girls’ Night In is going to be a blast but it’s also going to be for a very good cause.
Angela’s sister, Katie is fighting breast cancer and she has been for two very grueling years. She hasn’t given up the fight. She’s got a lot of that in her. And so do the people around her. Everyone is banding together and doing everything that they can. And that’s where my Girls’ Night In comes in….
You see, there seems to be so little practical help that I can provide. I can be there for my friend, I can cook meals for the family as they go through this horrible trauma and I can pray and send all my strength and love.
But my food is not going to cure her, my prayers, however well intentioned, will not rid her body of the cancer cells. What will help not just her but thousands like her is research and support from organisations like the Cancer Council.
And I can help them by raising money from hosting a Girls’ Night In.
The Cancer Council's Girls’ Night In campaign encourages people like me to get their girlfriends together for a night in to honour the 17,600 women who will be diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancer in Australia this year.
The premise forGirls’ Night In is simple; women are encouraged to invite a few of their closest friends round for a night in at any time until the end of October and donate the money they would have spent on a night out to the Cancer Council. And you don't necessarily have to go to a lot of effort – whatever you normally do with your girlfriends can count as a Girls' Night In. All funds raised will go towards cancer research, prevention programs and support services for those affected by women’s cancers.
So Angela and I are excitedly planning. And all our friends are coming. We are positive and upbeat – just like we are for the prognosis of Katie's health. It’s going to be a big night in and frankly I can’t wait.
With better treatment, detection and prevention, more and more women are surviving cancer all the time. Hosting a Girls’ Night In is just one, small way I can help continue this trend and give hope to women like Katie.
To register to host your Girls’ Night In, call 1300 65 65 85 or visit www.girlsnightin.com.au
National women’s cancer facts
- Around 17,600 Australian women are diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancers each year with more than 4,100 women losing their battle against women's cancers annually
- Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women in Australia. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. Over 13,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year
- Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer affecting women in Australia. Around 1,270 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year. One in 79 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer by the age of 85
- Around 770 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. One in 157 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer by the age of 85
Cancer Council Victoria is a non-profit organisation and has been leading the fight against all cancers for 75 years. They focus on cancer research, patient support, cancer prevention and advocacy. For further information, please visit www.cancervic.org.auor to speak with their experienced cancer nurses, please call our Cancer Council Helpline (13 11 20). This is a confidential service for anyone with questions about cancer.
Names have been changed to protect my friend's identity