Marie’s taking part in The Show, our April catwalk, to show breast cancer can happen at any age and ‘there is light at the end the tunnel.’ Read her story.
Marie’s taking part in The Show, our annual catwalk, to show that breast cancer can happen at any age and ‘there is light at the end the tunnel.’
Marie and our 23 other models are people from all walks of life, living with or beyond breast cancer. Using fashion, they’re celebrating who they've become through their personal experience of breast cancer.
Read Marie’s story.
Can you tell us about your diagnosis?
After spotting a lump in my left breast in 2018, I immediately saw the doctor who referred me to the hospital. A consultant saw something but wasn’t overly concerned, describing me as ‘young, fit and healthy’ at 38. I was told to come back in 3 months, which I did, and was told the same thing.
A few months later, I felt a recurring, striking pain in the same breast and was referred to the consultant. Almost a year after I first went, the consultant reluctantly sent me for a mammogram, and there it was, ‘C’. I had 5 biopsies and was sent away bruised, emotional and angry that I hadn’t been heard, but palmed off because of my age. I was told I had grade 2 HER2 positive breast cancer and needed 6 months of chemotherapy, alongside 18 rounds of Herceptin and a mastectomy.
Being a single mum of 2, I felt my whole world crumbling away around me, and how could I tell them I had cancer? After days of tears, I grabbed the bull by the horns and put it on my Facebook, as people would soon see my hair loss any way. After always having long thick hair, it was time for the big chop. My friends and family joined me while my hair was chopped and donated to the Little Princess Trust.
My family supported me every step of the way which I'm so thankful for. Without them, I don’t think I would have been as strong and determined as I was.
How has breast cancer impacted your everyday life?
When I was told I had breast cancer, the fear of having half a boob on just one breast scared the hell out of me. All I wanted was for these boobs to be gone forever, and so I persisted on saying I wanted a double mastectomy. Thankfully, after talking to a psychologist, my wish was granted.
Since cancer, I’ve had my ups and downs and scares that it returned, but now I’m in a far happier place. I’m back doing what I love doing – motivating others and living life to the full. Last year, I got married to my beautiful wife who has stood by me every step of the way. Between us, we have 4 children and 2 dogs, and at this moment in time, we couldn’t be happier. As for me, I’m happy in my body and very happy with my decision of not having boobs. As for my hair, I keep it short now and love my curls.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Take each day as it comes but try to be one step ahead. Be brave, positive and look forward to things. You’ve got this.
Why did you sign up for The Show?
Since having cancer, I’ve changed so much as a person, not only in how I look but in how strong and focused I’ve become. And for that reason, I want to show others who face the BIG C that change CAN be a good thing!
I also wanted to show that breast cancer really can affect people of any age, and if you’re worried about something, push to get it checked.
Why do you think The Show is important?
To be able to spread the word that everybody’s cancer journey is different, and to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope that cancer CAN be beaten.
And we are supported as one big family.
What does taking part in the event mean to you?
It’s giving me the opportunity to meet fellow breast cancer warriors while spreading awareness and supporting others at the beginning of their cancer journey.
Why should people watch The Show?
To become more aware of breast cancer and hopefully to be inspired by us, confidently walking the catwalk with a positive mindset.
The Show will be streamed on Breast Cancer Now's Facebook on Thursday 20 April. Register your interest and we’ll send a reminder closer to the date.