Introducing Kirsteen - The Face of Beatson Cancer Charity's Christmas Bauble Campaign

27 November 2017

Kirsteen McGroarty is proud to be fronting this year's Beatson Cancer
Charity's Christmas bauble campaign, with her face featured on billboards
around Glasgow and social media.

Kirsteen, who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year, is helping with the
public appeal, encouraging everyone to buy a bauble and adding a message
for a friend or loved one on the dedicated page ( to
raise funds for the vital cancer charity over the festive period.

Messages of thanks to the staff, carers and volunteers at the Beatson have
already started pouring in on the page.

Kirsteen, from Paisley, said: “I had cold and flu symptoms all the time and
antibiotics weren’t making a difference.

“I had a blood test and was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and
admitted to Beatson on 16 May last year.

“I was told that I would have to go through four cycles of chemotherapy
that each involved a five week stay in the Beatson however after two cycles
it was then found that I had to have a stem cell transplant to give me the
best chance.

“My sister, Paula was identified as being a perfect match and I recovered
really well from the transplant.”

Kirsteen has now recovered from her treatment and returned to work. She
works closely with the Beatson charity to raise funds, as well as awareness
of the services they offer.

She explains: “I had issues with my employer at the time while I was having
my treatment and then my role was made redundant and I chose not to apply
for other roles there.

“The Specialist Health and Work Service team at Beatson Cancer Charity
helped me out with knowing my rights and getting in touch with the HR team.
They also gave me great advice on things like how to approach my diagnosis
at interviews.

“It was such a friendly and positive place to be. My adviser, Donna, just
felt like a friend who knew the right thing to do.

“I featured in their ‘Specialist Health and Work Service’ marketing
materials and they asked me to take part in their Christmas bauble
fundraising campaign. I wanted to help them after all the help they have
given me so I agreed.”

Following the help and advice from the charity, Kirsteen went for an
interview at the Student Loans Company in Glasgow, where she had previously
worked for 12 years prior to her diagnosis.

She returned to work in June as Delivery Manager for the Digital Delivery
department, with responsibility for a team of 84 employees.

“The Student Loans Company has been absolutely brilliant and so

Kirsteen is now enjoying spending quality time with her 12-year-old
daughter Lara, who features alongside her in the campaign pictures.

“This time last year I was recovering from my treatment. This year, I’ll
be leading the choir with colleagues at my workplace, raising funds for
Beatson Cancer Charity and looking forward to a happy Christmas.”

Donna McLeod, Head of Beatson Cancer Charity’s Specialist Health and Work
Service, said:

"We're so pleased that Kirsteen is featuring in our Bauble campaign, which
helps patients and families fighting cancer this Christmas across the west
of Scotland.

“When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, lots of thoughts and worries go
through their minds, but work shouldn’t have to be one of those worries.

“Beatson Cancer Charity’s Specialist Health and Work Service plays a vital
role in helping patients like Kirsteen experiencing health and work
challenges, ensuring they receive the best possible outcome in their

“We’re on hand to provide direct support, information and guidance to
patients and their families when they’re going through a difficult time. We
also work with employers to help them understand their employee’s needs."

You can buy a Christmas bauble and support the Beatson Cancer Charity
campaign by visiting

You can find out more about the Beatson’s Specialist Health and Work