Stacey had already experienced leukaemia as a child, so getting breast cancer at the age of 23 was a big shock for her.
I didn’t think it was anything serious at first
At the beginning of 2019, I had so much to look forward to. Everything was on the up in life and I had my first holiday abroad booked with my best friend, so I was super excited. I had symptoms at the beginning of the year, such as discharge, but I wasn’t aware it was a sign of breast cancer at the time and just put it down to a change in hormones.
A week after I came back from my holiday, I was just going about my day when I noticed a sharp pain in my left breast that wouldn’t go away, and that was the point where I knew there was something more to this, so I did a breast check, which is when I felt the lump. I contacted my doctor’s surgery and they got me to see a doctor straight away.
The doctor initially thought that it was an abscess, due to me having discharge, and prescribed me antibiotics, but they still referred me to my local hospital to have some more tests done, as I have family members that have also experienced breast cancer, including my mum who sadly died from it.
I needed a double mastectomy
I didn’t think any more about it and went along and had the tests done and they scheduled me an appointment to go back to receive the results in two weeks’ time, which is when I was diagnosed with cancer.
A week later, they told me that I had signs of cancer in my right breast as well. The only way to treat this successfully was to have a double mastectomy.
There were quite a few hurdles that I had to overcome through this journey, such as trying to get my head around the fact that I was having to face cancer again, as this was not the first time (I had leukaemia as a child), and that the treatment was physically going to change the way I looked.
Breast Cancer Now’s information was fantastic
The information leaflets that I was given at the start and throughout my journey were so helpful and they explained everything in so much detail, so that I was able to understand things in my head better. When I was in a room with the doctors and they were bombarding me with information, I just wasn’t taking it in. All I could think about was ‘How am I going to get through this?’ and ‘How am I going to tell my family and friends?’.
After I had recovered from the surgery and was back on my feet, I decided there and then that I wanted to raise as much money as possible for Breast Cancer Now. Their information booklets helped me so much in understanding everything and I want to help them to be able to fund their life saving research.
‘Bust a Move to Save Boobs’
I decided to hold a fundraising disco, ‘Bust a Move to Save Boobs’, within my local community. This included a raffle and a buffet, as I love to dance and to help to raise as much money as possible.
The aim of this event was to also raise as much awareness of this disease as possible and the importance of carrying out regular checks on your breasts and to make people aware that although it’s rare, younger people can get diagnosed with this disease too.
This took a lot of planning and I would say that the toughest part of organising the event was trying to get raffle prizes, and making sure that everything that was needed to run the event turned up on time, but all the hard work was well worth it.
So many people came out to support me, and raising £1,786.50 on the night alone was amazing. I can’t thank the charity enough for all the support they have given me throughout this whole process, and the people who helped me to make the fundraising night such a success.
I’m so grateful for everyone’s help
The best part of fundraising for Breast Cancer Now is knowing that all the money that was raised on the night of my fundraiser and through my JustGiving page is going to make such a difference to the charity, as it is going to help fund some of their research.
Breast Cancer Now does incredible and amazing work in supporting people through one of the toughest times of their lives, including myself. When I contacted them about holding a fundraiser for them, they were so helpful and gave me all the support and materials that I needed to help to make it such a success.
I would urge anyone who is thinking of fundraising for Breast Cancer Now to just set your mind to it and make it happen. It is so much fun to organise and it’s such an incredible feeling to know that the money that you raise is going to help to make a difference to the charity and change the lives of people who have been affected by this disease.
If, like Stacey, you want to fundraise for Breast Cancer Now, check out these stay-at-home options for raising money.