A MOTHERS PERSPECTIVE
In the year 2001 devastation hit our family when my youngest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. My daughter had chemotherapy followed by a mastectomy and our hopes at this stage were positive for a full recovery. A year later when it was confirmed the breast cancer had returned and it was aggressive, suggestions were made of a possible genetic link from my husband’s side as there was a history of ovarian cancer from his mother’s side of the family.
I visited a genetic councillor with my daughter at St. James hospital in Leeds and was told of the procedures involved in the genetic tests but she decided not to go through this as there was enough stress dealing with the second mastectomy.
My daughter was a medical secretary in histopathology at Leeds infirmary and was well aware of the implications of the genetics for my other daughter so consented to the testing months before she died.
A year later a genetic councillor visited our house to tell us they had identified the mutation from ovarian cancer, the BRCA1 and faulty gene. We were told of the possibility my eldest daughter had a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene and go through the same scenario. Even after the two years of pain and suffering and the death of my daughter the anxiety continued because of not knowing whether my eldest carried the faulty gene.
Desperate to find help we discovered the helpline run by Wendy Watson and Becky Measures, they invited us over to their home where we found the advice and help invaluable and put our minds at rest. At last we had found the help and support needed for my eldest daughter to go for the genetic tests which thankfully came back negative.
Thanks to Wendy and Becky we can now move on with our lives, I hope many other people will benefit from the invaluable help and support they showed to us. It is annoying that they have to spend so much of their precious time chasing funds to continue, instead of dealing with the important task of helping other people in our circumstances.