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Being diagnosed with breast cancer while supporting a young family changed everything

When Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer, she worried about how her young daughter, Eve, might react.

When Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer, she worried about how her young daughter, Eve, might react.

My sister's diagnosis prompted me to check myself

In our family, there’s me, my husband Stu, my daughter Eve, Daisy the pup, and our three chickens. We live on a farm in the countryside.

I think family and friends would say I'm friendly and would do anything for anyone if they needed help.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my husband’s birthday in 2018. I needed a full mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, Herceptin and hormone therapy. My sister had been diagnosed herself just six months prior, and it was because of her experience that I had been prompted to check myself.

Breast Cancer Now and their services were a lifesaver for me, especially Younger Women Together

When I was going through treatment, I'd not met anyone else in their early 40s with a breast cancer diagnosis. The Younger Women Together programme was a welcome relief, as it allowed me to find other women I could talk to about similar issues.

This experience then prompted me to get involved in some fundraising for Breast Cancer Now.

I originally sent off for the Afternoon Tea fundraising pack with the view to host it after my surgery. Unfortunately, my histology had other ideas, and it turned out I needed more invasive treatments which floored me.

Eve was still in primary school and wanted to help whilst her mummy was laid up poorly, so she asked her school if she could host it there.

With her teachers support, Eve started planning an Afternoon Tea

They let her organise everything. She hand-painted tee shirts and canvas bags to sell on the day, along with organising a raffle and fun games. 

The day of the event came and I was too ill to make it, unfortunately. Thankfully, my husband was still able to go along, and the teachers took photos for me and told me how proud they were of her efforts.

Eve loved organising the Afternoon Tea as she knew she was helping me and others affected by breast cancer by raising vital funds. 

I was the proudest mum

After active treatment ended, I started volunteering for Breast Cancer Now’s service Moving Forward.

I now volunteer for more life-changing services such as Here For You and Younger Women Together, and I’m currently training for the Someone Like Me service.

I love volunteering for Breast Cancer Now because it gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction knowing I am helping others go through a really tough time. I know how hard a cancer diagnosis is and the support services are invaluable.

This year I am planning an Afternoon Tea at my local village hall - Eve and I can’t wait!


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