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Laser for Life

Crosby’s Soroptimists have focussed on women’s long-term health and wellbeing.

Powerful testimony from cancer survivor Abby Younis introduced members to a new way of transforming women’s lives. Abby is fronting a campaign to fundraise for a state-of-the art laser at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital (LWH).

Dr Paula Briggs is Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health at the hospital. Cancer treatments, she explained, can cause a medically-induced menopause. Many menopausal symptoms are commonly known. Others, such as vaginal atrophy, are less well recognised – even among clinicians.

Internal dryness, weakening, recurrent infections – often the consequences of modern cancer treatments. Women find these gynaecological symptoms difficult to talk about. Yet they can jeopardise their physical and mental health, and blight their lives.

The Soroptimists heard that the LWH is seeking to fund a CO2 (Mona Lisa Touch) laser, costing £50,000. The laser will enable this NHS hospital to take part in a proposed UK study of women cancer patients. In the case of many hormone-dependent cancers, standard hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not a treatment option. The ‘Mona Lisa’ laser could offer massive relief post-surgery.

Kate Davis, Head of Fundraising at LWH’s charity, explained that research into women’s sexual wellbeing attracts little funding. Abby initiated the fundraising drive, as a thank you to the NHS for her cancer treatment. She has devised her own fundraising projects. Her target is £25,000 – half of the laser’s price tag. The charity is fully supporting her.

Soroptimist President Chris Smith said, “Abby, Paula and Kate made a strong impact on us all. We were so impressed that this life-changing treatment is potentially within the reach of so many women in our city.”