Claire Cregan joined the Pink Ladies when “Geraldine McGurk (pictured left) put her hand up her back” and forced her in the door.
And Geraldine Deery joined as Geraldine McGurk’s buddy.
“I was brought into the group after I finished my treatment,” said Clare. “I was at a loose end and Geraldine persuaded me to join. Now I love going.”
Geraldine said her life changed when she joined the Pink Ladies. “I didn’t have cancer but I was Geraldine McGurk’s buddy,” she said. “I didn’t realise how important it had become to me until I lost my own partner last year. The girls here really helped me out. Even getting out to things. The Pink Ladies were my saviour.”
Geraldine McGurk said the best thing about the Pink Ladies is that you always have someone to talk to.
While the group originally started as a support system for women with breast cancer, women who have experienced all different sorts of cancer have been welcomed.
“Fundraising is a big part of what we do,” said Clare. “But lobbying has also played a huge part. Lobbying for the new radiotherapy centre and lobbying for equal access to cancer drugs, cancer survival rates are widening.”
But Geraldine McGurk said that along with the camaraderie in the office comes the sadness when they lose one of their Pink Ladies.
“We have lost three of our close members this year,” she said. “Two of them were our choir members.”
One of the activities the Pink Ladies enjoy the most is taking part in the choir.
“The idea first came up when we were asked to sing a song in the jazz festival,” said Clare. “Geraldine came up with the idea of singing Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. We sang at the Women of the Year awards thanks to the help from Siobhan Heaney.
“The choir just keeps going from strength to strength.”