AN INSPIRATIONAL woman who has battled breast cancer marked her 60th birthday with a joint party with her best pal — and raised almost £2,500 for local causes.

Senga Heron was diagnosed last January and has been through a traumatic year of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

She has now got the all clear and she felt so blessed that she decided to give something back by fundraising for Ardgowan Hospice and the oncology department at Inverclyde Royal.

Greenock Telegraph:

Senga, who is now back at work at supermarket Iceland, said: "I was diagnosed last January but I knew in December something was wrong, I noticed a change in the breast. I think I was in shock when I found out.

"I needed surgery a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but I've got the all clear and I'm back at work.

"I was off work for a year and a half."

Greenock Telegraph:

Senga and her friend Helen Scott celebrated the milestone birthday within days of each other and asked for donations in lieu of presents.

She and Helen, who both live at Fancy Farm, have been friends for 46 years.

Helen said: "We met through Senga's mum when I was helping out at the Bow Road pensioner club when I was 14 or 15 and we became friends.

"We are very close.

Greenock Telegraph:

They held their charity/joint birthday bash in the Clyde Suite.

Senga quipped: "Helen always wants to remind me that I am five days older than her, my birthday is on the 2nd of November and hers is on the 7th.

"The charity night was quite emotional at times but I have tried to keep positive.

"I was very lucky, I had six months of chemotherapy at Inverclyde Royal and it didn't seem to affect me as badly as some other people."

Senga underwent surgery at Glasgow Royal Hospital and also radiotherapy at the Beatson Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

Helen said: "I was quite shocked when I heard, I had been out with her a couple of nights before and she hadn't said to anyone.

"Then I called her and asked why she wasn't at work and she told me she had cancer. She just dropped it into the conversation.

"She is a very strong person."

Greenock Telegraph:

Senga and Helen wanted to do something to give back to the community and the nurses at Inverclyde Royal for all their help.

The women handed over £1,435 to the hospice and £1,000 to the hospital.

The Exchange also gave a donation towards the cost of the hall and the disco.

Leonna Gallacher, hospice fundraising assistant, said: "I would like to thank Senga and Helen for choosing to support the hospice in this way, asking family and friends to donate to the hospice instead of presents.

"It is so generous and I would like to thank everyone who made a contribution."