Pupils at a Stapleford secondary school were so moved by a staff member’s fight against breast cancer they joined her campaign to raise cash to fight the disease.
Colleen Brennan was diagnosed after her first-ever screening in July 2015.
After pupils at George Spencer Academy heard about her condition, they decided to help raise money for local cancer research.
This week Colleen and the children handed over a cheque for more than £1,300 the Nottingham Breast Institute through the Nottingham Hospitals Charity.
You go through a whole range of emotions
Colleen, an events co-ordinator at the school, said: “You go through a whole range of emotions, but then when you put your real head on you’ve got to deal with it. You think I’ve got to deal with this for myself, for my family, and just get through it – and that’s exactly what we did do.
“The C word, the cancer word, is one no-wants to cross over their door at all, and when I sat down to tell our children it was one of the hardest things we had to do.
“My husband said to them ‘listen to everything I’ve got to tell you, don’t just focus in on that one word [cancer] which is what everybody does’.
“My daughter turned around and said ‘can’t you call it another name? If you called it another name it wouldn’t sound so horrible’.
“That’s the impact of that word.”
After months of radiotherapy Colleen has now received the all-clear, but says the scare made her realise how vital it is to get checked.
With the help of pupils at the school, she set out to raise money and awareness, through events including a non-uniform day and cake sales.
On Tuesday pupils handed over their cash to the charity.
Under the NHS, women aged over 47 are offered screenings every three years, but Colleen wants to encourage everyone to get checked.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t had the check,” she said.
“I don’t want to think about that – but as soon as that letter drops through the door for your screening – go for it.”