Northern Irish breast cancer survivor launches fashionable tee to raise funds for charity

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(l-r) Donna Ross, My Sister's Closet, Laura Parkinson and Anita Mackey, My Sister's Closet all wearing the fabulous new MSC for Breast Cancer Tee landscape.Local woman Laura Parkinson has teamed up with two of NI’s most influential fashionista’s to create a fabulously fashionable T-Shirt in order to raise awareness of Breast Cancer in Northern Ireland and to help raise funds for two charities, Pretty n Pink and Breast Cancer Ireland.

Anita Mackey and Donna Ross of My Sister’s Closet Boutique and Fashion Blog became good friends with local photographer, Laura Parkinson soon after Laura photographed Anitas’s wedding in the summer of 2016. The new friendship immediately experienced one of the most traumatic events any friendship should ever have to endure. Laura, aged just 35, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Less than a year later and the trio are launching a fabulous new T-shirt, inspired by Laura’s journey and supported by Donna and Anita’s expertise in fashion. The gorgeous t-shirt is unveiled today and features two simple pink hearts above the left breast, representing where Laura discovered a lump. Laura explains how the idea came about;

            “During my treatment I was determined to be upbeat and positive, it’s the kind of person I am and I wasn’t going to let this dark cloud consume me, my friends or my family. I had low points of course, but with an amazing support network of family, friends and the wonderful charities that I never even knew existed I was able to battle through and come out the other end, if not a better person, then certainly a stronger one with a determination to enjoy my life to its absolute capacity but also to somehow say thank you to those who helped me along the way. One of the biggest surprises I got during my treatment was a phone call from Pretty n Pink, a local breast cancer charity who raise money entirely to help those in my position – they gifted me money and I was able to frivolously spend that on my husband, Simon and my young son, Dan, the three of us enjoyed an amazing few days together, forgetting about the illness and the treatment and all the associated stresses, I couldn’t have been happier and because of that I was sure I wanted to help them to help others in my position, I’m not the type to run a marathon or host a coffee morning, I wanted to do something true to me and I love fashion, and so a T-Shirt was born!”

Watch the video below with Stephen & Cate to hear more about Laura's story.

Not wanting the T-shirt be ‘any old charity Tee’ Laura sought the help of My Sister Closet, local fashion bloggers and boutique owners who jumped at the chance to help her create a T-shirt that could be worn to share the love and support those women going through breast cancer while also being superbly fashionable at the same time. Anita Mackey of MSC says;

            “ We are absolutely delighted to work on such a fantastic campaign with our friend Laura. Our Grandmother had Breast Cancer so we appreciate the impact it can have on a family. With having our own clothing line we wanted to do something with Laura, in a fashionable way, to give back to other women going through the Breast Cancer Journey. We are very excited about launching our MSC for Breast Cancer t-shirt to raise much needed funds for Pretty n Pink and Breast Cancer Ireland'

Pretty ‘n Pink, which will benefit entirely from sales in NI, was created in 2006 by Belfast woman Noleen Adair, the charity operates within Northern Ireland and is run by a very small team of people and local volunteers from across the province. 

They provide financial and other support services to patients with breast cancer and their families through a charitable Support Fund, social outings, and an online support group. The charity also helps advance education of breast cancer awareness and breast care awareness through information provided on the website and from literature produced and distributed by the charity.

 “We are truly grateful to have the support of My Sisters Closet & the Laura T-Shirt. Our work is funded through donations and fundraising so we could not do it without initiatives such as this. This partnership will help Pretty ‘n’ Pink reach their £250,000 target for this upcoming year. The charity celebrated its 10th Birthday in 2016, and within this time we are pleased to announce that we have reached our £1,000,000 target and we could not have achieved this without the help and support of the people in Northern Ireland.”

These stunning T-shirts are priced at £27 and available from My Sister’s Closet Boutique in Dungannon or online here. Funds raised from T-shirt sales will be split between Pretty n Pink and Breast Cancer Ireland.

To order your T-Shirt, please visit the official website here. Available from Friday 23rd June 17.

Stephen Clements, Cate Conway, Laura Parkinson and Donna Ross at Q Radio QHQ

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