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To save lives through improving early
diagnosis, developing new treatments and
preventing all types of breast cancer

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Our story






A commitment to stopping women dying from breast cancer

Our journey began in 1989 with one man’s absolute commitment, following the loss of his wife, to stopping women dying from breast cancer.

That man was Bill Freedman. In 1986 his wife, the actress Toby Robins, died from breast cancer. She didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke. She found the lump before the doctors, and she had the best possible care. But still, she died. Bill refused to accept that her story should end there. Instead, he turned her loss into something remarkable.

Together with the help of many extraordinary people, Bill raised the £15 million needed to bring breast cancer experts together under one roof at the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre, the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre, to find a way to put an end to the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer was born, and it’s through our work to stop breast cancer taking women’s lives that Bill’s love for Toby lives on.

Watch the video above to learn more about our story.