Cancer survivor rallies girlfriends for cancer fight

Wednesday 1 October, 2008

Women from across Victoria will get together this October to catch up on the gossip, to celebrate friendships, and to raise funds to fight women's cancers through the Cancer Council's Girls Night In.

But while everyone loves an excuse to catch up, the guests at Melbourne resident Sally Ham's Girls Night In will have an extra-special reason to get together - the event is a celebration of life, marking the first anniversary of Ms Ham's breast cancer diagnosis.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October last year. So when a friend told me about Girls Night In, I thought it would be a great way to celebrate my victory over cancer," Ms Ham said.

Through Girls Night In, women register as a host, then invite their girlfriends around any time in October for an evening in. With hosts able to design their own event, this year's Girls Night In will see women hosting everything from movie marathons to bake-offs, karaoke competitions to knitting nights.

"Girls Night In this year has a great new online element to it, an interactive website, - it's a fun way to register as a host and even set up your own unique event page," Girls Night In Coordinator Barbara Fernandez said.

"Registered hosts can send invites out via email, monitor RSVP's and even get friends to donate to their event online from anywhere in the world," she said.

Latest trends from the Cancer Council show that hosts who fundraise online have a 73% increase in fundraising success compared to those who use only conventional methods.

"Online fundraising is not only a fun and convenient way to raise funds, but also helps hosts' fundraising success," Ms Fernandez said.

More than 1000 hosts have already registered to fundraise online, including Ms Ham, who to date has raised more than a third of her fundraising target through online donations.

"I think fundraising online for Girls Night In just makes it much easier - sending my invites from the site saved me a lot of time in chasing up RSVPs, and it was all very straightforward to use," Ms Ham said.

To check out Ms Ham's Girls Night In page, or to register as a host and develop your own Girls Night In page today, visit www.girlsnightin.com.au