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When mother and daughter Sylvie Henry and Danielle Leslie were diagnosed with breast cancer, they wanted to do everything they could to stop other families going through the same ordeal. Sylvie and Danielle both lost their lives to the disease but not before becoming two of Breakthrough’s most prolific fundraisers.
Sylvie and Danielle used their background in the theatre to set up their own charity, Future Dreams, and staged three sell-out West End gala productions – One Night Only, One More Time and She’s The One – which saw stars of stage and screen come together to raise more than £1 million towards Breakthrough’s work.
Sylvie fought breast cancer in the nineties but, in October 2007, she was diagnosed with inoperable and incurable lung cancer. Then her daughter, Danielle, was also diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. Three weeks before Sylvie lost her brave battle in July 2009, Danielle was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in her lungs. Despite several courses of chemotherapy and two operations to remove the tumours on each lung, Danielle passed away in September 2010 at the age of 40.
Dale Henry, Sylvie’s son and Danielle’s brother, continues to fight against breast cancer in tribute to his mother and sister. “I am thrilled to be able to continue their dream but only wish I didn’t have to fill the void they have left. The work of Future Dreams is of enormous importance to me personally and I, along with my family and the rest of the committee, am utterly dedicated to raising as much money as possible for Breakthrough Breast Cancer so that future generations do not have to suffer the terrible effects of this disease.”
Dover to Calais Channel challenge
Male bonding has helped cement a crew of eight training to row the Channel to fundraise for Breakthrough’s breast cancer research.
The team, which includes Craig and Dale Henry, whose mother and sister, Sylvie and Danielle died from breast cancer, are rowing for Future Dreams.
The money they raise will fund Breakthrough’s Professor Clare Isacke and her research team, searching for ways to prevent secondary breast cancer. So far future Dreams has raised £1.5 million for this team’s work.
"It is amazing that what started off as a hair-brained idea last October has gained such momentum,” said Dale from North London.
"Every member of the crew has put in a huge amount of training and we have all formed a fantastic bond during the process. It is a massive challenge but we are utterly determined to raise as much as possible for Breakthrough."
So far, they've raised £20,000 for their cross-Channel rowing challenge. You can help them beat this and raise even more for our research into secondary breast cancer by visiting their JustGiving page.