The Amazon Breast Support Group

Working for Breast Cancer Patients at King’s Mill Hospital

News 2010 ...
July 2010
Etape Update

Many thanks to all those who supported our challenge and donated so generously. Your backing spurred us on to ensure that we both crossed the line!

It is not too late to contribute to the fund generated. Follow the link

It was a long weekend. We arrived in Pau at 12.45pm on the Friday night and were up at 7am for a quick breakfast before heading off to collect and rebuild our bikes and then cycle across town to register for the race.

Etape Route

The Route Ahead

Registration was perhaps the first time we gleaned the sheer scale of the event with 10,000 cyclists and their families and friends all buzzing round in a carnival atmosphere.

Bike Assembly

Bike Assembly



Once we’d registered we cycled back to our hotel before taking a bus into Pau for a very late lunch. That night we tried to get to bed early but the nerves, anticipation and trepidation meant a restless night for all. Up at 4:30 am for breakfast on race day before cycling into Pau as dawn broke to take our place in our allotted starting pen at 6:15am. It was only just getting light. 45 minutes from the start and atmosphere was electric.

Roger at the Start

Roger at the Start

Simon at the Start

Simon at the Start

Hemmed in with 10,000 other cyclists the chatter and banter grew until finally the gun went off at 7am and the race was underway.

Due to the sheer number of people nearly 20 minutes passed before we crossed the start line and our stage of the tour de france began in earnest.

10,000 Cyclists

10,000 Cyclists

The route broke down into a few key sections – the first was about 55km to the foot of the Col de Marie Blanque. Along the way there was a ‘little climb’ which would have put most hills in the UK to shame. At the foot of the Marie Blanque the road narrowed and the first serious climb of day began. At 9.5km long and an average of 7.5% gradient rising in places to 10% and more this was certainly a punchy opener. It was on this climb that we heard the first ambulance sirens. These would be with us on and off all day as people crashed or simply flaked out.

The descent down from the Marie Blanque was fantastic. The roads were closed to traffic for the day so we could carry speed around corners. Hitting well over 70kmph the descents seemed over all too quickly.

After 40km of beautiful rolling terrain we came to the Col du Soulour.

This climb was 6-7% and 15km long. The heat of day started to take its toll on people at this point and while this was not the toughest climb of the day it certainly felt very very hard. The final section was no longer shaded by the forest and we were exposed to the harsh sun. Down from the Soulour we cycled along the gorge towards the Col du Tourmalet.

Col de Soulour

Col de Soulour

An all too Familiar Road Stone

An all too Familiar Road Stone

Even before the signposts telling you that you are on the Col de Tourmalet appear there is a long steady climb. Then, after 150 odd km the climb proper began. 19.5km starting at 7% and rising to 10% for kilometer after kilometer. Riders were strewn across the road as the relentlessness of the Tourmalet took its toll. Each kilometer seemed to get longer and longer as we ground our way to the top. There were thousands of spectators on the roadside all day cheering us all on shouting “Allez! Allez!”, “Courage!” and spraying riders with hose pipes and bottles of water.

It seemed to go on forever until finally we reached the summit and our race was run.

Great and lasting experience which has helped raise much needed money for a worthy charity so once again - many thanks,

Roger and Simon

July 2010
Simon and Roger Tackle the L’Etape 2010
Etape Profile

Two colleagues from Caunton Engineering of Moorgreen, Simon Bingham - Managing Director and Roger Gore - IT Manager are embarking on a stage of the Tour de France – ‘L’Etape du Tour’ and hope to raise money for Amazon Breast Cancer Support Group.

They have both funded their own training, travel and expenses for this event so every penny pledged goes to the charity.

This year’s Etape is approximately174km in length and they will be climbing a total of 4,624m (13,500ft). It starts in Pau and finishes at the Col du Tourmalet summit. In between they will be tackling two other monuments of the Pyrenees: the Col de Marie-Blanque, at 1,035 m high and the Col du Soulor at 1,474 m high. Both are dwarfed by the final ascent of the mighty Tourmalet at 2,115m high.

Each climb has its unique features with Marie-Blanque being by far the steepest while the Tourmalet is, long, relentless and steep.

2010 marks the 100th anniversary since the Tour de France took cyclists to the climb the Tourmalet and on the 18th of July we will be amongst 9500 riders who will attempt the 174 km ride with its imposing landscapes: Plateau de Bénou, Gorges de l’Ouzom and Gorges de Luz. The attrition rate of the Etape is generally thought to be about 50% so let’s hope their months of training pays off on the day. They will set off at 7 a.m. and have 11 hours to complete the stage on the day.

Some interesting facts about the Tourmalet:-

Octave Lapize was in the lead when the Tour de France first went over the top of Col du Tourmalet 100 years ago. On a single geared bike that he pushed to the summit as part of a 326km stage, he famously yelled at the organisers “You are Assassins!”. And so the Col du Tourmalet gained its nickname “the Assassin”.

The Col du Tourmalet is the highest road pass in the central Pyrenees.

Your support will be a great incentive on the day for us but more importantly go to providing long term support for those in far greater need. To donate go to

Swimming with Sharks Helped Simon Hunter Raise £460 for the Amazon Breast Support Group
Swimming with Sharks


April 2004
Amazons Raise £10,000 to Boost Hospital Funds for a New Faxitron Machine from America
Faxitron Machine

At the November Committee meeting of trustees the Amazons voted to back the request of Kings Mill Hospital to raise funds for a new Faxitron machine.

Our target was to contribute £10,000 towards the total cost of the £38,000 needed.

When you are a patient, and need an X-Ray guided needle biopsy, you have to remain clamped in position in the machine after the biopsy has been taken whilst staff X-Ray the sample tissue in another room. This usually takes about five minutes before the patient knows whether another biopsy is needed or they can be released from the machine.

The Digital Faxitron machine provides an instant image of the sample so that staff can know immediately whether the sample obtained will be sufficient.

On April 16th 2004 members of the Amazon committee were delighted to hand over our cheque for £10,000 to Consultant Radiologist Eleanor Cornford MRCP FRCR, Director of Breast Screening at the Welcome Centre, Kings Mill Hospital.

Pictured from left: Wendy Brocklehurst, Superintendent Nurse Penny Stinchcombe, Beryl Perrin, Janet Stafford, Consultant Radiologist Eleanor Cornford, Pat Nicholson, Margaret Johnson and Liz Hunter.

October 2003
Pink October a Sell Out
Pink October

The Amazon Pink October Tombola fund raising stall in the Idlewells Centre was a complete sell out thanks to wonderful local support.

Top picture: Angie serves Janet Ball and Jackie Sheet whilst the volunteer group on duty on Saturday contemplate and sell out on the stall.

Wigs Update
Wigs Update

Denise Gregory has continued to raise the money required to provide patients, who loose their hair due to chemotherapy treatment, with wigs.

So far over 150 patients have benefited from Denise’s generosity. The wig scheme is a crucial part of the Amazon Support Group. The trauma of being diagnosed with breast cancer, and then undergoing treatment which results in hair loss is about the lowest a point a patient can reach.

Facing the world is difficult enough with life threatening disease, but at least if a patient ‘looks normal’ then they can keep their self respect.

Why Not
Why Not

Beryl Perrin accepts a donation of £125 from Samantha Cooper, Jonathan Edwards (owner) and staff of Why Not in Mansfield.

The Amazons are extremely grateful to local businesses that support the breast cancer charity. The Amazons specifically target areas of support for patients where NHS funds are unavailable. The Amazon Lounge at Kings Mill, free wigs for patients, books, tapes, drop in evenings and much more are catered for.

Fund Raising Helps Local Patient Care
Positioning Chair Positioning Chair

The Amazon committee and supporters were on hand recently to hand over a number of items purchased for the benefit of breast cancer care at Kings Mill Hospital.

The first item was a specialist positioning chair for the mammogram unit in the Welcome Centre.

Pictured left is Dr Eleanor Orford explaining to the Amazon Group the benefits of the new chair for patients. Prior to the positioning chair patients had to use a normal chair which was totally inadequate as it had a fixed back. The new chair enables patients to take up positions ranging from sitting to lying down thus enabling far more accurate mammograms to be undertaken. In the picture above Liz Outram, Radiographer, samples the new chair with Amazon members looking on.

Pat’s Retirement Gift
Pat Cotterill

Pat Cotterill decided that she would ask for cash in lieu of presents for her retirement party in the summer. Friends donated £150 to the Amazon cause.

Pictured from left to right: Jan Bullimore, Pat Cotterill, Angela Flude and Amazon Chairman Beryl Perrin.

Amazons Provide New Light Box

Dr Chan and Nurse Specialist Linda Salmon take delivery of the new light box provided by the Amazons for the use by consultants to review a series of X-Ray plates taken over several months of treatment.

Since this happy picture was taken in 2003 the light box has been superseded by new computer technology. The Amazons were able to find a placement for the redundant unit in Africa in 2008 so helping more people to benefit from the efforts of our donors.

Julie’s Birthday Gift
Julie Marriott

Julie Marriott pictured on the right requested donations to the Amazon Support Group in lieu of birthday presents.

Julie is pictured with Angela Flude, landlady of The White Lion, main Street, Huthwaite where she handed over a cheque for £200.

April 2001
Debenhams Staff Raise £1,608

Julie Whitaker and colleagues from Debenhams store in Mansfield present the Amazons with a cheque for £1,608 which they raised on behalf of the Breast Cancer Support Group.

Debenhams also conducted a Look Good and Feel Good evening in the Amazon Lounge in March 2001, which was a wonderful evening fro those attending.

On behalf of Breast Cancer patients at Kings Mill Hospital the Amazons would like to thank both Debenhams and their staff for their excellent support.

We can only say Support the shop that supports the patients.

Pharmacy Department Raises £286

Vicky March of the Pharmacy department presents a cheque to the Amazon Group for £286 raised in the department.

Vicky is a regular supporter of the Amazon Breast Cancer Group and on behalf of the patients we extend our grateful thanks.

Over £9000 Raised by Sally and Simon in New York Marathon Run

Two friends have completed the New York marathon to raise funds for the Amazon Breast Cancer Support Group.

Simon Bingham and Sally Coulthard paid their own fares to the Big Apple in order that the entire fund raised, £9,087, could be donated to the charity. Committee members were able to log on to the marathon web site and watch the progress of the runners online.

The amount raised is the largest single contribution to the Amazon fund and will enable the committee to support pioneer treatment like the ice caps for preventing hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. Professor Carmichael of the City Hospital, is currently evaluating the results of the first ice caps and the equipment is now being made available for all cancer patients at Kings Mill Hospital.

The two runners, Simon from Farnsfield is the Managing Director of Caunton Engineering of Moorgreen and Sally works for Trailfinders in London, were on hand to present their cheque to committee members on Saturday 17th January. The presentation was held in the new Amazon Support Group Room at Kings Mill. The room has been kindly provided by the hospital and was furnished by the Mansfield Masons.

April 2000
Amazon Lounge is Millennium Project for the Mansfield Freemasons

The Mansfield Freemasons generously nominated the new Amazon Lounge at Kings Mill Hospital as their Millennium Project.

Their very generous donation enabled the group to fully furnish the new lounge, which was provided by the hospital management.

The room is used by nursing staff for counselling patients initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Amazon volunteers are available to be on hand at this most distressing time to give encouragement and support.

The room has furniture for storing specialist clothing for mastectomy wear so patients can evaluate availability of specialist clothing.

The room is also used by Nurse Specialist for after care and instruction utilising specialist video programs on the Television and video also funded by the Freemasons.

The room also houses the growing Amazon Breast cancer library of specialist books available for patients on loan.

Freemason Robin Wilson is pictured presenting a cheque to the Amazons to fund the new Amazon Lounge

April 2000
Ann Adams
Ann Adams

Ann Adams, one of the founding committee of the Amazon Breast cancer Support Group, and the main instigator of it’s existence has retired from the group.

Ann also retired from work last year and is looking to take things a little easier.

The group will always be in her debt as the driving force that led the group to become a registered charity. Ann’s personality and organisational skills have also been implemented to the maximum and ensured that the groups financial status was based on firm foundations.

Ann has spent four years campaigning for a breast cancer patient counselling room at Kings Mill and this is just been allocated. The Amazon Group are funding the furnishing of the room.

All the Amazon Committee thank her for all her hard work and dedication both for the group and on behalf of the patients.

We all hope to see her at future events and meetings when time allows.

April 2000
Annual Charity Ball
Charity Ball

The Amazon Group held their annual Charity Ball at Portland College in October. The theme this year was TITANIC, complete with an ice burg drinks luge.

The evening raised £2040 for the fund, much of which will go towards furnishing the new Kings Mill Counselling Room.

The Ice Burg was sponsored by Peter & Diane Bozeat, Architects from Oxford and the drinks by Derek and Margaret Carr. Many thanks from the patients!

You can donate to us via the Just Giving website by clicking on their logo above