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Michelle shares her future moment in the Gallery of Hope, a photography exhibition made in collaboration with people living with incurable secondary breast cancer.

IA image of their future moment
AI image of Michelle's future moment, captured by Jillian Edelstein

It’s 2026 and my 75th birthday. I’ve finally managed to convince my whole family to join me in riding a routemaster bus, as we play Sir Cliff Richard’s "Summer Holiday" nice and loud. It’s a really meaningful song to me and I’d love to be there, belting it out at the top of my lungs on that bus just like in the film. To me, it represents a positive journey and moving forward in life.

Michelle is a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother from Guildford. Now retired, she spent much of her adult life as an accountant, as well as being an active member of her local parish church.  
Michelle was first diagnosed with primary breast cancer 18 years ago. She underwent chemotherapy, which was even more intensive and gruelling than it is these days, with her having sessions every day for 28 weeks. This was followed by a lumpectomy, lymph node removal and 6 weeks of daily radiotherapy. Nonetheless, Michelle recovered, and it wasn’t until 15 years later that a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer came. This was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning nobody was able to physically accompany her to appointments or treatments, making it an even more challenging time. Despite all this, Michelle is one of the most positive, joyous people you could ever meet, and she sees it as her duty to spread hope and positivity to others.  

Michelle's story

What research are we doing into secondary breast cancer?

Secondary breast cancer occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the first (primary) breast cancer in the breast, through the lymphatic or blood system, to other parts of the body. 

Our researchers are here working to buy more time for people with secondary breast cancer. 

What we’re doing

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