WHEN Kelty woman Barbara Boyd recovered from mouth cancer she wanted to raise awareness of the condition, and money for the charity which is trying to persuade people to check out their own mouth for danger signs.

Her target was a few hundred pounds, but when people heard about her story they rallied around and the village business community also backed the cause, with the result being the most money that Let's Talk About Mouth Cancer has ever received from one event, £1,916.25.

Friends and family took part in the fundraising day on Saturday September 7 at her home, off the Great North Road, and developed it into a lovely community event.

Said Barbara: "The generosity of everyone has been simply unbelievable and businesses in Kelty and Cowdenbeath were tremendously supportive and I cannot thank them enough.

"The prize draw was a big success but that Saturday afternoon and evening really was amazing with people dropping in to have fun and also take part in our fundraisers and making an amazing contribution.

"I hoped we could make a few hundred pounds, but to total just over £1,900 was unbelievable and I am indebted to everyone who part in the day.".

LTAMC convener, Niall McGoldrick, and his team took part in the day and all were really impressed with the way Barbara went about organising everything: "She really has been brilliant at getting the message over to people about how important it is to check your mouth for signs of any changes which could need looked to be at by a dentist.

"But also her story of the way she tackled her treatment and then shortly after receiving the all clear how she organised the fundraiser is totally inspiring.

"Her kind donation is certainly the most we have ever received from an individual fundraising event".

Barbara underwent considerable treatment when a tumour was found underneath her tongue.

It meant her having to have a substantial amount of her tongue taken out, and also an operation which saw many lymph nodes removed, to tackle the disease.

Said Barbara: "I became aware of something underneath my tongue and it was found to be a tumour which was discovered in time to tackle the problem.

"It meant that I had to have part of my tongue removed, which was successfully done, and then during my rehabilitation time I had to basically learn how to use my newly shaped tongue to speak properly again.

"It took time but I was able to achieve that."

Barbara is aware that not enough is known about Let's Talk About Mouth Cancer and she wants to change that and that was why she held the special fundraiser at the beginning of September to help the charity's funds and also raise awareness.

"Let's Talk About Mouth Cancer gets out the message that people should examine the inside of their mouth regularly and their tongue to check for any irregularities, for like any cancer this form of it needs to be tackled as soon as possible after it is found," she said.

"Your lips, cheeks, tongue, roof of your mouth and floor of it need to be examined to check for any unusual changes swelling or ulcers.

"And if you find something unusual get it checked as soon as possible. It may be not anything serious but it could be cancer and if it is, the earlier it is found the quicker treatment can begin."

Niall commented: "Let's Talk About Mouth Cancer is geared to increasing public and professional awareness of mouth cancer; promote early detection; improve survival rates; and save lives.

"Our overarching goal is to improve the prognosis of patients diagnosed with Mouth Cancer through early detection.

"The focus of our campaign is on raising awareness of Mouth Cancer, the signs and symptoms, associated risk factors and where to seek advice.

"We promote Mouth Self Examination to the public as part of our awareness programme. We aim to equip the public with the knowledge to facilitate self examination and encourage early presentation to a health care professional".

And Niall added: "Barbara really wants to help people to realise how dangerous a condition mouth cancer can be and we hope that in the coming months she will be able to tell her story and make people think about checking their mouth regularly for irregularities."