Ten women from the same family are celebrating after they ALL survived breast cancer.
The women - from the Coningsby and Boston areas - include mums and daughters, aunties and sisters-in-law.
Eight of them are blood relatives.
They are aged between 47 and 81 and admit one of the keys to surviving is ‘being there for each other’.
They are planning to celebrate the amazing feat in style - by launching a fund-raising calendar.
The launch will take place on October 1 at the Party Palace, a shop owned by one of the family members, Vanessa Haw, in Coningsby’s High Street.
Vanessa (55) said: “We’ve all raised money for charity. I’ve even done a parachute jump. But we wanted to do something special together, as a group...something to celebrate we’ve all been given the all-clear.
“We came up with the idea of a calendar.
“Obviously, we know all about the Calendar Girls (The WI) but this is different.
“We’ve kept our clothes on for one thing!
“All of the photos are of us enjoying life together and are taken at well known locations in the area.
“We’ve chosen the photos. It is at the printers now and we can’t wait for the launch.”
Money raised will go to the charity ‘Breast Cancer Care.’
However, there is another side to the family’s efforts.
They want to show there is life and hope for anyone diagnosed with breast cancer.
Vanessa added: “The fact 10 of us have gone through it has been a huge help.
“We’re a close family so we’ve been there for each other.
“That support and knowing someone had breast cancer but survived has been brilliant.
“Even on the worst days, you knew there was life,there was hope.
“That’s the message we want to get across.”
The 10 have launched a Facebook page (@Bo08s) which tells their emotional stories.
Vanessa’s mum Barbara was diagnosed 16 years ago and Vanessa five years ago
This is Vanessa’s story.
“I had my last yearly mammogram in April 2015. I got called back and had to have a deep core biopsy whilst I was there.
“I got diagnosed with breast cancer four days later. I made the decision to refuse radiotherapy due to the way I had seen it affect my mum.
“In May 2015 I had a left sided mastectomy and all lymph nodes removed from my left arm.
I had instant reconstruction but this was a temporary inflatable implant. I was able to return home after three days.
“When a dressing was removed for chaffing my skin, the skin had died because I was a smoker, and we had gone for a nipple saving operation which is not usually performed on smokers. I had to go three times a week for almost three months to be treated with manuka honey. I had two more operations to remove damaged skin (one while I was awake).
“I did the genes testing which came back clear for BRCA1 & BRCA2, but my consultant believes that they do not test enough of the genes, so the decision was made to also have a right mastectomy with another temporary implant in October 2016. By which time I had quit smoking and had had my nipple removed and came through without complication.
“In January and May of 2017 I had lippo modelling operations to build fat around my implants ready for my biggest operation to date. In November 2017 I had my temporary implants and ports removed and had my muscles sewn back into place on my chest bone and permanent implants put in.
“At last I was able to wear a bra again. Something I was unable to do since my second mastectomy.
“Through all of this I stayed strong and positive with the support of my family and friends, just taking it all in my stride and I am still here to tell the tale.
!” am a survivor!”