Local hero Georgie turned having breast cancer into a positive

14:45 11 July 2012

Georgie de la Nougerede

Georgie de la Nougerede

Archant

Grandmother-of-five Georgie de la Nougerede has heard the stomach-churning words “you have breast cancer” three times since she was 45 – the last three years ago on her 60th birthday.

But on each occasion, the former shop owner has fought back and beaten the illness – and what’s more she has helped raise more than £190,000 to save the lives of others.

Georgie, of Gardinier Road, Bickley, along with three other women receiving treatment under the Princess Royal University Hospital’s surgeon Ali Desai, decided to form charity South East London Breast Cancer Trust in 2010 to support those going through similar experiences.

She had never done any fundraising before but was desperate to give something back after receiving “brilliant” care from Mr Desai.

What started out as an attempt to buy a much needed £ 65,000 lymph-node analyser – which detects if the cancer has spread, often removing the need for a second round of surgery – has turned into a relentless movement to improve the lives of women experiencing utter despair.

“From the moment you find a lump you begin planning your funeral,” the 63-year-old said. “It was a surreal moment when I found myself asking ‘am I going to die?’”

The charity works in all three of the hospitals in Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, supplying them with the fruits of their fundraising labour and talking to patients on the grassroots level about what would make them more comfortable.

The requests vary from medical staff’s pleas for much needed equipment like pumps and drugs trolleys to coat stands, DVD players and porcelain mugs instead of flimsy polystyrene cups.

“I get so much satisfaction talking to the patients and finding out how we can help them, even small things can make a big difference,” said Georgie.

Fundraising is tough but two years since its inception, the charity has nine trustees including Georgie and more than 60 helpers they call on to regularly shake buckets at The Glades, pack shopping bags and host events like fashion shows and dinner dances.

“We even managed to chuck Mr Desai out of plane,” Georgie chuckles, referring to the skydive the surgeon did last year, in aid of the charity.

Explaining how setting up the organisation has affected her, she said: “I truly believe things happen for a reason. They completely change who you are as a person. I realised what is important and that life is so short. I wonder why people can’t just be nicer to each other.”

Looking to the future, the mother-of-four and two other trustees are training to provide a buddy scheme for newly diagnosed patients. They already have a 24-hour telephone service.

The keen writer has also penned a book with funny stories about their hospital experiences, with all the proceeds going to the charity.

Georgie paid tribute to the other trustees – Chris Oliver, Karen Caton-Hewings, Sam Crinnion, Anil Desai, Miles Bullock, Sarah Witton, Alison Hookham, Keith Roberts and Sam Featherstone.

She added: “Who would have thought after that first coffee morning at my house we would have grown to have this great charity?”

n To find out about the work of SELBCT visit www.selbct.org

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Sunday, February 7, 2016
An 18-year-old has been charged with murder (Picture: Street View)

A teenager has been charged with murder after a 27-year-old man died from stab wounds in Plaistow Park, Newham, just over a week ago.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport