Shortly after the sudden death of her husband, Elke was diagnosed with breast cancer. In both situations, she had to find a way to explain what was happening to her young children.

I quickly realised when my 34-year-old husband dropped dead how little bereavement support there was for children

In 2009, Elke's husband died suddenly from a heart attack. As well as having to personally deal with the grief and shock of her sudden loss, Elke had to find a way to explain to her two young children, aged just one and three, that their dad was gone. She looked for resources to help her do so but, not being able to find much, decided to create her own: a book titled 'Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute'. 

Three years later, Elke was diagnosed with breast cancer.

By this point in her life, Elke was living with her new partner and his five children. Once again, she had to find a way to tell her family the difficult news, and to answer the questions that the kids had. Her experience eventually led her to write another book: 'Is it Still OK to Have Cuddles?'

Listen to the podcast to hear more of Elke's story and her approach to explaining big topics to little people.

I never really thought, 'Why me'. I think I was just grateful I'd found it while it was still treatable. I thought about how lucky I was.

Everyone’s experience is unique to them. This podcast contains the personal story and experience of the speaker, rather than that of Breast Cancer Now.  

You can subscribe to Breast Cancer Now in your podcast app to stay tuned for more episodes of 'My story', as well as discussions with healthcare professionals and researchers.