Cheshire mother-of-three Sarah Pickles is hosting the first Butterfly Breast Cancer Awards to celebrate women affected by the disease and those who have helped them along their journey.
The glittering awards dinner hosted by Radio Northwich presenter Kim Smith will be held on the evening of Friday, September 22, at Vale Royal Abbey, Whitegate, Northwich. Tickets are now on sale and nominations are open until July 17, 2023. Money raised from the event will to Kim’s charity, Simply the Breast, supporting the Mid-Cheshire Hospitals Charitable Fund, which she set up after her own treatment in the breast cancer unit.
Sarah, who lives near Middlewich, was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2014, at the age of 32. She met so many inspirational people during her own treatment, double mastectomy and reconstruction, she was determined to set up an event to honour them.
‘What stood out for me was the way women who have experienced breast cancer can flourish, emerging with renewed sense of purpose and achievements, harnessing the opportunity to transcend from their old form and create a new beginning, like butterflies,’ she says.
‘There are many others making a difference to someone who has breast cancer and their long road to wellbeing. From nurses, doctors and support staff, to neighbours, friends and family, there is often an army of people lifting you up through little acts of kindness. A listening ear, a reassuring hug or note, giggles and tears over a cup of tea, a meal for the family on treatment day, help with the school run when you have an appointment, a baked cake left on the doorstep for the disturbed night’s sleep ahead, a fundraiser in your name – the list is endless. All are worthy of recognition.’
It tells of how her life changed on September 22, 2014, when Sarah, now aged 41, and her husband Dave, a performance expert who leads expeditions throughout the world to remote and austere environments, were given the devastating news she had a triple-negative breast cancer.
At the time they had a young daughter Lillie, aged four. Sarah was told she had a one per cent chance of conceiving again after chemotherapy but went on to have her miracle babies Monty, now six, and Poppie, now four
Sarah, who runs Lillia’s Beauty School, named for Lillie, who is now aged 13, named her event the Butterfly Breast Cancer Awards because she believes the journey a woman goes on after her diagnosis is the same transformation a butterfly goes on through on its life cycle.
‘A butterfly is delicate but has strength and resilience to break through its chrysalis after being in the darkness for a period of time, never giving up hope and believing it can break through and emerge as this beautiful butterfly in a new world,’ she says.
Nominees will be shortlisted and chosen by a panel of judges.
INSPIRATIONAL EMPOWERMENT AWARD
This award honours an extraordinary individual who stands out in the breast cancer
community. This could be someone who has set up a support group, a charity or services for others going through breast cancer, has written a book to help others on their journey, or who raises funds for a related charity.
This is an individual or organisation that has demonstrated exceptional creativity and forward-thinking in developing or enhancing a product or service centred around breast cancer. Their innovative contributions have significantly improved the lives of women affected by breast cancer and left a positive impact on the community.
There’s a chance here to recognise an exceptional person or volunteer who selflessly dedicates their time and energy to support individuals on their breast cancer journey. They could be a volunteer serving at a breast cancer charity, hospice, in a healthcare setting, or as a neighbour, friend or chemo buddy.
CHARITY IMPACT AWARD
Organisations large and small, dedicated to supporting breast cancer causes, are celebrated here. It’s a way to highlight their dedication, compassion and the profound impact of charities that work tirelessly to provide crucial support, raise awareness, offer hope, guidance and advance research in the fight against breast cancer, or work to honour the memory of individuals who have passed away, ensuring their memory lives on.
JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD
This is bestowed on an exceptional individual or organisation that stands out among their peers, deserving special acknowledgement for their incredible work, courage, and remarkable bravery.
It celebrates their extraordinary contributions, surpassing expectations and making an indelible impact in the field of breast cancer.
TRANSFORMED LIFE AWARD
This award acknowledges an individual who has undergone a remarkable personal transformation since their breast cancer diagnosis. This could be embarking on new challenges where before diagnosis they may not have had the confidence or belief in themselves.
You can buy tickets for the event at http://sarahepickles.uk/butterfly-breast-cancer-awards
Notes to editor
*Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.
Around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
Picture: Sarah Pickles, founder of the Butterfly Breast Cancer Awards. Photo: Ali Ford
Contact: Sarah Pickles: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 07971 179577
NB. To support the awards, Aqueous Digital is helping Sarah with the promotion and communications around this year’s awards.