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It's been 17 years since my diagnosis, but I am still raising money for others

When Jane was first diagnosed at the age of 37, she was concerned for herself and her two-year-old son. After two successful courses of treatment, she now fundraises for Breast Cancer Now.

When Jane was first diagnosed at the age of 37, she was concerned for herself and her two-year-old son. After two successful courses of treatment, she now fundraises for Breast Cancer Now.

It was a huge shock

My breast cancer journey started in 2004, when I was first diagnosed at the age of 37 with a two-year-old son. There was no history of breast cancer in my family, so my diagnosis was a huge shock for us all.

It felt as if the world was coming crashing down on me.

My treatment included a lumpectomy, mastectomy and reconstruction of my left breast. When I was declared No Evidence of Disease (NEDs), I felt that I just needed to get on with life and appreciate what I had. As my cancer was oestrogen sensitive, we made the difficult decision not to have any other children. But I was healthy and we had our son.

My brush with breast cancer was not over

With the support of friends, family and work colleagues, I arranged several different fundraising events over the years to help support others affected by breast cancer.

Sadly, one of my closest friends, Julia, was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer in 2014 and not long after, following a routine mammogram, I was diagnosed with a new occurrence of breast cancer in my right breast.

I had a lumpectomy and a course of radiotherapy. Thankfully, it was caught in time and was treatable. However, Julia very sadly passed away from secondary breast cancer and left behind a husband and two sons.

Last year was an incredibly difficult year for everyone.

Around the same time, several of my friends started posting pictures on Facebook of cakes they had been baking and, as we could not get together in person, I was thinking about other ways I could fundraise. Then the idea of collating a book of Afternoon Tea inspired recipes came to me.

I want to help Breast Cancer Now with their goal

I asked friends and family to send me their homemade recipes and I soon had a collection of 50! I started collating the recipes into a book and the orders came flooding in. I was blown away to have 250 orders, it was amazing.

When my Afternoon Tea recipe book in aid of Breast Cancer Now arrived, I began the process of getting them posted or delivered.

What began as a small idea ended up a huge success! It is something I am immensely proud of and I know Julia would have been so pleased. Her recipe for chocolate brownies is in the book and they are absolutely delicious.

We will continue to fundraise for Breast Cancer Now to work towards their goal that, by 2050, everyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer lives – and is supported to live well. Since I was first diagnosed, fundraising for a cause that is so close to my heart has been so important. I’m looking forward to taking part in Afternoon Tea this year and hopefully trying out recipes from my book!

 

If you've been inspired by Jane and her innovative way of fundraising, why not have your own Afternoon Tea?

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