A WRITER from Glasgow is donating all profits from her debut book to Beatson Cancer Charity. 

Gillian Shirreffs, who lives in the city's West End, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2021 after discovering a lump. 

Following her diagnosis, Gillian received support from several of Beatson Cancer Charity's services while being treated at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, leading to her decision to donate profits from the book, titled Brodie, to the charity. 

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Glasgow Times: Gillian Shirreffs October 2021Gillian Shirreffs October 2021 (Image: Beatson Cancer Charity)

The 53-year-old said: "Beatson Cancer Charity is very visible, so there were lots of people and information. 

"I had an interesting time with chemotherapy as my first infusion caused an infection that caused sepsis.

"I had a few emergency admissions to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, so it was just a really stressful time.  

"I noticed some information either online or on a leaflet about a Telephone Befriending service.  

"It was during Covid so it seemed to make perfect sense.

"I signed up and I got a lovely telephone befriender who phoned me every week and it was actually really nice. 

"I’ve used a number of the charity’s services because even now post-treatment, I’ve been to the Fear of Recurrence group and it’s been just wonderful, I think it’s a great service that’s offered."

Glasgow Times: Gillian Shirreffs June 2023Gillian Shirreffs June 2023 (Image: Beatson Cancer Charity)

Brodie, which will be available to buy from September, is the story of six women whose lives intertwine over 30 years. 

Gillian started writing the novel in 2017 as part of a doctorate in creative writing looking at the relationship between object and illness. 

Her particular interest in illness comes from being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2007. 

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Glasgow Times:

Gillian, who is a Doctor of Fine Arts, decided to donate all profits of the book to Beatson Cancer Charity as a way of giving back for the support she received.

She explained: "At the beginning of treatment, I couldn’t see beyond treatment. I couldn’t see that there was a life beyond.  

"I think it’s lovely that there is, and I want to be able to give back because I got so much support.  

"Not just with the Telephone Befriending service, but when I needed a wig, I went to the service in the Wellbeing Centre within The Beatson.  

"It was a lovely experience, even though it was so stressful and unpleasant to lose your hair, because I was treated with such kindness and care. 

"I want to be able to give back and I can’t see myself running a marathon anytime soon, but I do have a book that’s being published in September. 

"Whatever I would get from it, I wanted to give back as a means to say thank you because I appreciate so much what people have done for me."

Glasgow Times:

Charlene Low, regional fundraising manager at Beatson Cancer Charity, said: "We are so grateful Gillian has decided to donate all profits from her debut book to our charity.

"Gillian has been known to many of us at the charity since beginning her treatment as she got involved with our patient services and regularly posted personal updates on social media.

"It’s been lovely for us and other patients to follow Gillian’s journey from the beginning and see how well she’s getting on now.

"The money from book sales will go towards allowing us to support more patients like Gillian across the west of Scotland."

You can pre-order a copy of Brodie HERE.