Pansies team up with Oz

Isobel Wilson with the letter, photograph and leaflet received from the Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink.
Isobel Wilson with the letter, photograph and leaflet received from the Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink.

SISTERS are sticking together after two cancer campaign groups joined forces from opposite sides of the globe.

The story of Hartlepool breast cancer support Pansies has reached a similar group more than 10,000 miles away that has been set up in Yarra Valley, in Australia.

Yarra Valley Ladies

Yarra Valley Ladies

Isobel Wilson, founder of Pansies in 1999, was gobsmacked when she received a telephone call from Judith McGrath, who is a member of Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink, to explain she was part of a similar group down under.

Judith has found herself housebound recently after breaking a leg in several places.

It was during that time at home when she discovered Pansies, a cancer support group set up in Hartlepool to support breast cancer victims across the town.

Judith, who set up her group in Oz in 2008, was amazed to discover how similar the two groups are and immediately made efforts to get in touch.

After exchanging letters and chatting on the phone, Pansies and Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink have become sister groups.“It’s just amazing,” beamed Isobel, 66, who lives in Seaton Carew.

“All of the ladies at Pansies are absolutely thrilled.”

Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink started out with four ladies who were suffering – or had suffered in the past – with the trauma of breast cancer.

The group soon extended and now boasts 45 members.

And it became so popular that just weeks ago the Yarra Valley Blokes in Blue had their first meeting.

Isobel said she was delighted that Judith and her fellow members in Oz found the story of Pansies, but was even more thrilled they had then made the effort to get in touch.

The mum-of-three and grandmother-of-seven was actually in Australia last year and said it was a shame she was not aware of Yarra Valley Ladies in Pink back then so she could have met up with the group.

Nonetheless, Isobel is delighted they are contact now and says the two groups plan to closely follow each other’s progress.

“The letter from Judith says our group and our fundraising outings are just like theirs,” added Isobel.

“The girls are already talking about going over there and visiting them.

“Wouldn’t that be fantastic? It would be a dream come true.”