Sovereign Gibraltar staff feature in Breast Cancer Calendar of Courage

Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar is a local charity and pressure group which raises awareness about breast cancer and offers support. This autumn they created the Calendar of Courage, launched in October 2023 as part of Breast Cancer Awareness season.

Incredibly, two members of our team feature in the calendar, and look fabulous having been painted by body art professionals. They gave us a little insight as to how they came to be involved with this project.

Chrisanne is a Central Administration Manager for our Sovereign Trust team. She features in December in the calendar, alongside her mum Denise, granny Christine and sister Louise. Chrisanne’s mother and granny are survivors of breast cancer, having been in remission for 10 and 20 years respectively. All four of these family members carry the PALB2 breast cancer gene. Therefore, based on medical advice, Chrisanne and her sister both had preventive surgery (double mastectomy with reconstruction) in 2021.

PALB2 stands for Partner And Localizer of BRCA2 — or “PAL” of BRCA2 — for short. The PALB2 gene normally codes for a protein that interacts with the protein made by the BRCA2 gene. Together, the proteins make up part of the repair pathway that fixes DNA damage in cells. When this protein is not functioning normally, DNA damage is not fixed, and cells become abnormal, leading to cancer.

Marie works at Sovereign Insurance Services as a Broker for Personal Lines. She features as August in the calendar. Marie was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2020 and had a mastectomy in December 2021, she has been in remission since then. She is currently awaiting reconstructive surgery which is due to be done in 2023. Marie commented: “Being asked to be a part of the calendar was such an honour. This charity has been my rock since day one and I will never forget the kindness I have been shown. Being part of the calendar was so much fun and for such an amazing cause, I hope that it will be a great success”.

Breast Cancer Gibraltar is also the charity of the year for Sovereign Gibraltar, as chosen by our staff and which we hold regular fundraising events for.

Sovereign were delighted to sponsor Chrisanne and Marie, who feature alongside 11 other Breast Cancer Survivors, courageously baring all and giving their time to the project, and all looking fabulous. The sponsorship helps the charity cover the costs involved in making the calendar which include marketing and printing, as well as the flights and accommodation for the body art professionals to visit Gibraltar to paint them, so that Breast Cancer Gibraltar can maximise profit from this project.

Early detection saves lives
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it is always best to have them checked by a doctor. Breast cancer need not be a tragedy; early detection will almost certainly mean survival; information will empower and help you make the right choices; most importantly, there can be life after breast cancer. There are various things Breast Cancer Gibraltar fundraises for in order to offer services in Gibraltar. There are the obligatory running costs of the charity, printing and helpline; the continuous buying of publications and posters in order to raise awareness and the funds needed for advertising campaigns. They help women pay for professional counselling, prostheses, wigs, headscarves and support bras, and offer any other financial help if necessary and applicable. They also buy specialist breast cancer care equipment for the hospital in order to enhance the Breast Screening Programme and One-Stop Breast Clinic and send health professionals on breast-related courses as part of their ongoing professional development.

The calendars cost £10.25 and from the Breast Cancer Gibraltar online shop: – the first batch sold out in days, but a reprint is anticipated; see their Facebook page for updates:

Contact Sophie Blake
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