BOLLYWOOD glamour was the theme for this year’s Boot Out Breast Cancer annual ball, which raised more than £125,000 to help fund vital NHS hospital equipment for patients.
Bolton breast cancer survivor Debbie Dowie, wife of former footballer and pundit Iain, hosted the event at Lancashire County Cricket Club on Saturday, which saw 530 guests, including Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna, former England captain Alan Shearer and his wife Lainya, and Paralympian cyclist Dame Sarah Storey, dress in traditional indian attire.
Sital Raja-Arjan, from House of Raja’s in Bolton, helped to source material for some of the dresses, including Mrs Dowie’s.
The guests tucked into indian canapes and sparkling champagne, as Indian band Rothwell — made of up former Bolton School pupils — entertained along with dancers and a violinist.
The event raised money for equipment including a new ultrasound machine for the Nightingale Centre at UHSM in Wythenshawe, and a new scientific chemotherapy scalp cooling cap for the Macmillian Cancer Centre at Leighton NHS Hospital in Crewe.
Money raised from a previous ball bought a Faxitron machine for the Royal Bolton Hospital, which speeds up diagnosis during lumpectomies.
Mrs Dowie said: “The night was fantastic — it couldn’t have gone any better. Guests made an effort to dress up and many came from all over the country to help raise money for such important hospital equipment.
“I have been through cancer and people don’t know what to say to you.
"So much so that they often cross the street so that they don’t have to speak to you — especially if you have hairloss through chemotherapy, which the cooling cap is proven to help with.
"I was fortunate because I didn’t need chemo, but it is the charity’s mission to push this nationally and buy equipment to help those who are not as fortunate.”