Calendar girls

SAY hello to the calendar girls!Bosom buddies Yvonne Chartier and Carole Jones were complete strangers when they met after being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

Rebecca Lefort

SAY hello to the calendar girls!

Bosom buddies Yvonne Chartier and Carole Jones were complete strangers when they met after being diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.

But the pair have bonded over the course of their intensive treatment, asking doctors at Ipswich Hospital if they could be with each other through their ordeal.

Now that they have both completed surgery and radiotherapy and are on the road to recovery they have taken on a new challenge together - producing a charity calendar.

Grandmother Mrs Jones, 69, a retired office manager from Rushmere St Andrew, said: "We've gone through exactly the same thing. We had hospital beds beside each other and went through all the treatments together.

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"We had the operation on the same day and our follow-up was the same day, and then we said can we fit our radiotherapy in together too because we'd become good friends over it.

"The only person who knows how it feels is someone who is going through it too, so it was great to have that support.

"We'll stay friends. It was lovely meeting her and having her friendship."

It was because of the outstanding care the two women received at Ipswich Hospital that they were motivated to do something to say thank you.

So they are recruiting a group of 12 women to pose tastefully topless for their calendar. The proceeds of the venture will be split between Ipswich Hospital's radiotherapy department, Macmillian nursing and the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk.

Ms Chartier, 62, a grandmother of five who lives in Purdis Farm, said: "After going through cancer you really feel you want to do something and give something back.

"I'm quite an 'up' person most of the time but there were low moments during treatment. You start to think about what really matters and not get bothered by trivialities.

"We really wanted to do something after the treatment finished to give something back because the care was absolutely brilliant."

The women are still looking for people to get involved with the calendar project, particularly to provide sponsorship.

For more information call Yvonne Chartier on 07894447658.

- Are you raising money for a good cause? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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