A former cancer sufferer has revealed legendary Bullseye presenter Jim Bowen handed her Bully’s special prize – by giving her £8k for reconstructive surgery.
Sally Naden, 60, has spoken of how she battled through breast cancer and was handed the much needed cash by the iconic presenter in her hour of need.
BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Sally, who is now fully recovered, had always vigilant about checking herself after her mum had breast cancer and her aunt died of the disease.
When she noticed a slight puckering of the skin on her left breast, Sally decided to get it checked out.
But she says she felt let down by the NHS as she had a mammogram and fine needle biopsy but kept having to call to chase the results.
She said: “If I had not kept pushing, I could easily have thought that as I hadn’t heard anything, everything must be fine.”
Sally was eventually diagnosed with breast cancer and told she needed a mastectomy.
She was adamant she wanted a reconstruction mastectomy which keeps the skin of the breast and replaces the breast with tissue and muscle from the stomach.
But, because of the delay in diagnosis, Sally was told she couldn’t have the operation on the NHS as she needed surgery quickly.
She ended up paying £8,000 to have it done privately after Jim Bowen lent her the money.
She said: “I had to take a loan out to pay for the surgery, but needed the money upfront.
“I was on the telephone to Jim Bowen and he said: ‘The money will be in your account by this afternoon.’
“It was such a lovely thing for him to do. As soon as the money from the loan came through, I paid him back.”
Sally went through surgery and chemotherapy and looking back, realises it must have been far tougher for husband Dave than it was for her.
She says: “Dave lost his sister to breast cancer when she was only 47 and he had that fear of history repeating itself.
“When it is you who is ill, you just get on with it and look to the next treatment.
“My operation took eight hours and I cannot imagine facing that long when the person you love is in the operating theatre.
“I lost my hair in patches so Dave shaved it off for me. He had tears streaming down his face as he did it.”
Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 49.
Sally, who has a daughter Diana and two step children as well as eight grandchildren, says she appreciates life all the more after the life changing experience.