Nikki’s eldest sister Tracey died of secondary breast cancer in 2016. Her other sister, Michelle, was then diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 after a routine mammogram. She decided to get herself checked out and was diagnosed with grade 3 invasive breast cancer, along with high grade DCIS in March 2021.

About me 

I live in Surrey with my husband, 2 sons and 2 cats. I’ve worked in the leisure and hospitality industry for my whole career, from operating theme park resorts to being general manager at the London Eye. 

In my spare time I like to walk, the more hills the better, and more recently, I’ve been enjoying body pump and yoga classes. I also love watching my sons play ice hockey. 

Following my eldest sister’s death, I knew I wanted to give something back 

I’m passionate about supporting other women and I love mentoring. In 2019, I became a woman of influence mentor for cancer research, where I currently mentor 2 female scientists and researchers.  

I’m 1 of 3 siblings diagnosed with breast cancer 

In 2014, my sister Tracey was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, and I saw firsthand how devastating this disease was. Following her diagnosis, I went for a mammogram, and everything was clear. I asked if I should have regular checks, but I was told that it wasn’t necessary, even though my sister had the disease. Tracey died in September 2016 aged just 49, and the loss was especially hard as her 2 young daughters were only aged 9 and 11 at the time.  

Fast forward to late 2020, my other sister Michelle went for her routine mammogram, and after some biopsies were taken, she too was diagnosed with primary breast cancer. Following this, I had a mammogram which showed no lumps or signs, but I thought that following Michelle’s diagnosis I should get checked out. I was 48 years old. I was recalled for a biopsy and on 15 March 2021, I was diagnosed with grade 3 invasive breast cancer along with high grade DCIS.   

Nikki and Michelle wearing pink
Nikki and Michelle

With no family history of breast cancer, I was tested for the BRCA gene. It came back negative.  

My surgeon told me that I would have to have my left breast removed. I was asked to have the genetic testing to see if I had the BRCA gene as it seemed odd how all 3 siblings had got breast cancer, and until this time there was no history of breast cancer in our family.  

Due to the pandemic, the results were going to take up to 12 weeks to come through, so at my request, it was decided that I could have a double mastectomy straight to implant. A month after my surgery, genetic tests came back which showed that I didn’t have the BRCA gene.  

I’m now cancer free with the boobs of a 20-year-old (you’ve got to try and see all the positives, right?) I can’t thank my surgeon Mrs Karat enough for her kindness, humour and straight-talking nature that got me through some really tough times.    

My mum is my inspiration  

My mum lost Tracey in 2016 to breast cancer. Then in a period of 10 months, my other sister and I were also diagnosed with breast cancer, and my dad then passed away. Her strength and support have been mind-blowing and got me through some really difficult days. 

I feel that my story should be told, and I’m doing it for my sister Tracey who isn’t here to tell her own story  

I follow Breast Cancer Now on LinkedIn and I saw that they were doing a wear it pink photoshoot which was taking place on the anniversary of my diagnosis. Until now, I’ve kept my cancer journey very private with only family and a few close friends knowing. It was my way of coping with my diagnosis and treatment, plus I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me.  

Now, I want to share my story and continue to raise awareness and funds for life-changing research. 

Nikki wearing pink

Wear it pink on 18 October 

Join Nikki and thousands of incredible people this October to help fund life-changing breast cancer research and support. 

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