WHEREVER Christine Turkington is - fundraising for the cancer charity that supported her through her darkest days - you can count on her friends being by her side.

The 70-year-old from Scotstoun just completed a 10-mile Pink Ribbon Walk in aid of Breast Cancer Now and long-time pals Jan Douglas, Jennifer Mullen and Mary Anderson – aka The Glasgow Girls – were there too in assorted shades of fuschia, rose and bubblegum.

“We go around the country, taking part in different events, and we have raised £1740 so far this year,” smiled Christine, who has volunteered for the charity for 18 years.

“This walk, in London, was my eighth Pink Ribbon Walk for Breast Cancer Now, and I was actually asked to give a speech before it started.

“I was proud of myself that I had been brave enough to stand up and talk to everyone.

"And it was lovely to have my friends there. After my diagnosis and through my treatment, they were a huge support, always at the end of a phone.”

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During the walk, a young woman came up to Christine and told her the speech had inspired her.

“She told me she had not had a good prognosis, and hearing me talking about my experience, and seeing me there, 20 years after my poor prognosis, gave her hope,” said Christine.

“That was a really great thing to hear.”

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Christine was diagnosed in 2001, after finding a lump in her breast.

“At that time Breast Cancer Now was known as Breast Cancer Care, and the charity was just as important to me then as it is now,” she said.

“They provided me with peer support, where I was able to talk to someone who had the same diagnosis as myself and I attended information sessions, which empowered me to face the challenges of breast cancer with less fear, greater control, and more knowledge.”

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She added: “Most of the time, I was fine. Sometimes I was not.

"I remember calling the helpline and just sobbing down the phone to a lovely lady, who helped me get exactly the support I needed.

“A few years later, I thought - I could do that for other people.”

Christine has volunteered in a variety of ways for Breast Cancer Now, giving breast health talks on signs and symptoms, providing peer support, fundraising in her local community and even modelling its charity lingerie lines.

“That’s something I could never have imagined doing in a previous life,” she laughed.

“It was a lovely thing to do. I was there as a the ‘reconstructed breast’ model, another woman had a prosthesis, another had had surgery - the idea was we would wear the bras and women had to try and guess which of us had had which treatment.

"It was a wonderful way to show women that having breast cancer doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing lovely underwear, that life can feel normal again.”

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Christine is married to Jim, her husband of 42 years, and the couple have a son, Steven, a daughter Gillian, and two grandchildren, Elijah, six, and three-year-old Leah-Joy (and another on the way).

When she is not raising money for charity, Christine volunteers at Heart of Scotstoun community centre.

She is particularly busy this week, as the centre is holding its first Gala Day on Saturday, complete with food, music, games and stalls.

“Heart of Scotstoun is an amazing place and the gala is going to be fantastic,” she said.

If she could go back in time 20 years, Christine would have a simple message for her younger self.

“Live life to the full,” she said.

“I was always one for saying, I’ll do that someday. But you don’t know how long you’ve got, so deal with the here and now.

“I’d also say - look after yourself a bit more. I was always busy, with a full-time job, teenage children, elderly parents I was helping to look after. You should always make time for yourself.”

To fundraise for Breast Cancer Now, visit their website at breastcancernow.org.