A WOMAN who lost three of her sisters to breast cancer is now volunteering for an appeal which will improve screening.

Davina Randall, 68, has been a great believer in making people aware of the importance of breast screening and checking yourself regularly.

Her three sisters all died from the disease - the youngest just 37 years old.

Mrs Randall was one of the first women in the UK to have a double mastectomy as a drastic but she believes vital preventative measure.

She now volunteers at a charity shop raising funds for digital equipment for the mobile screening vans in south Essex.

Mrs Randall, who grew up in Barkingside and had the operation at Whipps Cross Hospital, said: “I had a double mastectomy about 25 years ago. I don’t ever regret that decision as I’m still here.

“I was one of the first to have it done and when it was suggested to me I jumped at it and wanted it straight away.

“I saw my three sisters go through it and didn’t want that.

“I can’t think why if you’re offered a get out clause you wouldn’t take it. It was drastic but I’m the only surviving sibling.”

Her personal experience means she is more than happy to devote time once a week to help out at Southend Hospital’s charity shop in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff.

It is helping to raise funds for the Bosom Pals Appeal On the Road which is on its final push to raise the remaining £125,000 for digital mammography equipment in the vans which travel around south Essex screening women aged 50 to 70.

From October the three vans will have the new technology which give clearer images that can be zoomed in on to spot smaller cancers, and have a faster turnaround time for radiographers to view them.

The appeal is being well supported but the October deadline is needed to enable the screening service to extend the age of women screened to 47 and 73 years an extra 30,000 women.

Mrs Randall, of Carlton Avenue, Westcliff, said: “My daughter is 40 and is checked yearly because of our family history but I urge all women invited to be screened to attend.

“I’m feel I’m doing my bit by volunteering here in the shop. I’ve been here since it opened in June last year but I also volunteer in the hospital phlebotomy department too.”

To donate call 01702 385337 or email fundraising@southend.nhs.uk