Nov 23 2012 by ian russell, Kilmarnock Standard
Cancer sufferer Johanna Collins paid a huge tribute to the Dave Anderson Big Band at the weekend.
Johanna, a saxophonist with the Kilmarnock music outfit, says it’s her interest in the band, backed up by help from Ayrshire Cancer Support, that’s brought her through an anxious couple of years.
The 43-year-old midwife, based at Crosshouse Hospital’s Ayrshire maternity unit, has undergone surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It has been a terrible time not just for myself but for my family too,” she said this week, “but I’m absolutely fine now.”
To celebrate her good news Johanna, of Clearmount Avenue, Newmilns, and friends Tina Campbell and Chris Hannah organised a charity ball in Prestwick’s Carlton Hotel on Saturday, starring, of course, the Dave Anderson Big Band.
And already the successful event and associated donations, have brought in more than £6000 for Ayrshire Cancer Support.
“ACS was there for me when I was at my lowest,” said Johanna, who also received major support from her husband Steven, 43, and sons Aaron, 13, and Cameron, 7.
“But there’s no doubt that my membership of the big band also got me through.
“I still attended rehearsals in St John’s Church, Onthank every Tuesday night even when I was ill.
“The music really mattered to me.
“So the ball at the weekend was my appropriate way of saying thank-you to the charity.”