The ‘Big C’ has always been quite a big part of our lives.
When I was 14, my Grandma died of breast cancer. Then at the age of 41, her daughter, my Auntie Claire, also lost a long battle to breast cancer. My Grandma’s other daughter, my Auntie Patsy, also had breast cancer and has had both breasts removed and thankfully is still with us today.
Because of this gene, my Auntie Patsy’s daughter, Esther, at just 21 had to have both breasts removed and reconstructed because she found out she had a 90% chance of getting breast cancer too.
At the age of 38, I also found a lump and had to have a mammogram – which usually are not allowed until the age of 50. Thankfully, after much worrying, it came back fine. As you can imagine, I was elated.
Unfortunately, it is not just breast cancer that runs in the family.
My Granddad died a week after my Grandma due to prostate cancer. His son, my Uncle Paul, and daughter, my Auntie Carmel, were both diagnosed with bladder cancer but thankfully they have both made a full recovery. My mum’s mum – my Nana – also died the week after my Granddad due to bowel cancer – three deaths in three weeks to cancer.
My father was diagnosed with lung cancer – the size of a tennis ball. He had it for seven years and didn’t even know until he started having a nasty cough. As you can imagine, I did not think he had much chance of survival. But he was a fighter and after four lots of chemo, it will now be four years this November he has had the all clear – what a miracle.
The amazing support that Cancer Research UK has to offer with all of the lifesaving operations they provide, many of which weren’t available in the past, saved my father thanks to their incredible advances – so it’s nice to give back by taking part in Race for Life and fundraising for this great cause.
My daughter, Morgan, and twin sister, Emma, will also be running alongside me at Race for Life on Sunday, July 14th. I am so proud to be running and supporting Cancer Research UK.