People are urged buy breast plaster cast art to take Suffolk Breakthrough Breast Cancer to £1m

Keri Bird runs a personalised casting business

Keri Bird runs a personalised casting business - Credit: Gregg Brown

The Suffolk branch of a breast cancer charity is hoping to hit the £1million mark by auctioning off a collection of unique plaster casts which tell stories of heartache and hope.

The Simply the Breast campaign, thought up by Keri Bird, from Bury St Edmunds.

The Simply the Breast campaign, thought up by Keri Bird, from Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: contributed

Keri Bird’s Simply the Breast campaign features 23 breast plaster casts and is supporting Suffolk Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which is just under £40,000 shy of reaching its first £1m.

The casts are based on women who have been affected by breast cancer first hand or through a friend or relative, such as Kerry Farrant, who, at the age of 28, underwent surgery to have her left breast removed while carrying her unborn baby.

The casts, which are decorated by local artists, are being auctioned online until November 16, with each sculpture starting at £50.

They were on display at various business venues in Bury during last month’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Simply the Breast campaign, thought up by Keri Bird, from Bury St Edmunds.

The Simply the Breast campaign, thought up by Keri Bird, from Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: contributed

Ms Bird, from Bury, owner of Bird’s Body Casting, said: “We have cast more than 20 survivors and supporters of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and I have been moved by every one of their stories.

“It’s been an incredible project bringing members of the local community together for such a good cause.”

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Ms Farrant, from Bury, whose breast cast has been created by local artist and policeman John Frith, said: “I have taken part in this amazing project because at the age of 28 and 12 weeks pregnant my life changed forever. Having to go through surgery to have my left breast removed while carrying my unborn baby was an extremely difficult thing to face.

“I knew I had no choice though as I needed to fight this awful disease all the way to the end so I could be here for my then two-year-old daughter and the daughter I hadn’t met yet.

“After four chemotherapy sessions, at 34 weeks pregnant I was induced and my beautiful baby, Esmay, was born at 3lb 14oz – she was perfect. I went on to have the rest of my gruelling treatment and five years later I have had two further breast operations.

“Although I don’t have any nipples or feeling in my breasts I’m happy with what I have and I’m happy to be alive.

“I wanted to share my breast cast with everyone to show that you can still look normal and that surgeons can do marvellous things.”

She said while her and her baby Esmay are here today, it is not always a happy ending for everybody so she is pleading with readers to make a bid for one of these pieces of art.

Laura Hudson, of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Suffolk group, and who lost her father to cancer, said: “This is our most inspiring and courageous campaign to date – I am so honoured to be part of this alongside so many brave and amazing women. I’m urging everybody in Suffolk and beyond to get bidding and help us to reach our incredible £1,000,000 goal.”

She added: “I passionately believe that the only way to stop people dying of this disease is by investing in research which aims to discover why and how it happens, only then can we work out how to stop it.”

To bid in the online auction visit http://bit.ly/simplybreast