Here come the girls

21/04/2009

It's back by popular demand which means it's time to pull on your trainers and root out something pinkish and perky from the depths of your wardrobe. Yes, the Pink Ladies' Sunset Coastal Walk hits the road again in June and - calling all women and girls throughout Guernsey - one of your favourite charity events needs you. Gemma Long reports

IT WAS in 2007 that the Pink Ladies' Sunset Coastal Walk was first launched, by two co-founders of the local breast cancer support group. They had no idea just how popular it would be, agreeing that 500 walkers would be a brilliant turnout for the walk that aimed to raise funds for local women with lymphoedema, a side-effect of the disease.

In fact, the event, backed by the Guernsey Press, was a huge success, attracting more than 2,000 women and girls and funding more than £100,000-worth of specialist treatment locally.

The women at the helm were Anne McMillan and Doreen Le Poidevin, who, along with four others, founded the Pink Ladies in 2001. It now has more than 100 members and continues to support those who battle to fight this terrible disease.


This year the walk returns again to raise funds for the breast cancer support group and Les Bourgs Hospice.

But it is also being held in celebration of Anne's life.

Although Anne survived breast cancer, she later lost her battle with a very rare type of unrelated cancer last year. She died at her family home in the Vale on Monday 17 November.


Aged just 56, she leaves behind two sons, Ian and Shaun, and her husband Gary, who she described as 'her rock'.

Anne was admired by family and friends for the strength she showed during her fight against cancer.


She is also remembered for her enthusiasm in organising such a successful event as the Pink Ladies' Sunset Coastal Walk, the proceeds of which continue to help others today.

This year Doreen and another founder of the group, Amanda Brown, with the backing of Anne's family, have organised a second walk in her memory.


Again with the Guernsey Press as its media partner, it will take the same route along the coast at sunset on Saturday 20 June. The group hopes everyone will get involved to make the day as successful as the 2007 event proved to be.


'Although Anne knew she was terminally ill, she wanted to plan another Pink Ladies' Sunset Coastal Walk for this year and hoped it would be bigger and better than the first one,' said Doreen.

 

'When we knew this wouldn't be possible, I spoke to Anne and told her of my plan to organise the walk in her memory. Anne said, 'I would be honoured'.

This is the main reason why this year's walk will now take place and Anne, who was a very special lady, will be very much in all of our thoughts.' In fact Doreen described Anne as an inspiration to all who knew her. She was one of the bravest ladies I have ever known. When we met in 2001 and helped form the Pink Ladies, of which Anne was the driving force, we never imagined how well known the group would become and how successful and well supported fund-raising events would become.' For Doreen, one of the most memorable moments of the 2007 walk was seeing a mass of women dressed in pink walking along the coast at sunset. 'We never expected so many women to turn up. There were women and girls of all ages and walks of like taking part.

Looking back at the sea of pink was an amazing sight at sunset. Anne and I were overwhelmed with the support and could not have ever imagined what an impact it would make.

The Pink Ladies are so thankful to all the people who came together for one cause.' This year's walk, like the one in 2007, will end with a party in The Square in Town, complete with live music and food.



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