In December, we teamed up with Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest charity for breast cancer. Staff from our London office participated in the Santa Run to raise funds for this worthy cause. To create even more awareness about this important topic, we would like to introduce you to Donna. She personally has benefited from Breast Cancer Now’s services. Here, we share her story.
In May 2015, Donna, from Leicestershire, found a pea size lump in her left breast. Donna’s GP referred her to the breast clinic and following a biopsy the lump was found to be a harmless cyst.
Unfortunately, when undergoing a mammogram at the same appointment, the scan revealed two tumours one in each breast, both of which were found to be breast cancer. A month later Donna underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, removal of her lymph nodes – the cancer was found in three of her nodes – and radiotherapy.
After her treatment, Donna decided to start exercising and began cycling and running to improve her fitness and wellbeing. But two years into her new routine she began to experience back pain. She initially thought it may have been down to her new training regime but as time went on the pain became quite unmanageable and began to affect her job as a driving instructor. Donna visited her GP several times in the months that followed but was reassured each time that it was nothing sinister and was most likely linked to her new-found love of running.
In June 2019, Donna was eventually sent for scans which revealed that Donna’s breast cancer had returned and spread to her bones, liver and pancreas and was therefore, now incurable.
Donna said: “I was absolutely devastated when I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer so soon after my primary treatment had finished. It’s affected so much including my ability to work as a driving instructor due to risk of infection and possible further bone fractures.
Donna is currently undergoing targeted chemotherapy treatment to control and slow down the spread of the breast cancer. But Donna hasn’t let her treatment get in the way of her keeping active.
Donna, now 51, said: “I felt I needed to give back, whether it be through fundraising or campaigning. Most recently I took part in the Cardiff Half Marathon, an event I signed up for before my secondary breast cancer diagnosis, and it was a great day. These challenges keep me active and positive and it makes me feel proud of what I have and can achieve.”
On using the Breast Cancer Now services, Donna said: “When you initially hear the words “it’s breast cancer”, it’s just devastating, and you inevitably have so many questions – it’s really hard to resist the urge to just Google everything. Throughout both my primary and secondary diagnosis I found great comfort in Breast Cancer Now’s services – both practically for information, but also as an emotional support.
“Having a reliable source of information 24 hours a day was a god send. Knowing that the charity’s Helpline is staffed by experienced breast care nurses, who were just at the end of the phone if I needed them and able to give tailored information and specialist support, was such a relief. I also found chatting to other women on the Forum, who were going through the same thing, really useful and such a vital source of support at a very difficult time.
“I’m so proud to support Breast Cancer Now. Because I’ve benefitted from the charity’s services, I’ve seen first-hand the life-changing impact they can have and so fundraising means that I can do my bit to make sure other people also have access to this incredible support, now and in the future.”
M3 Global Research are proud to be supporting Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity.