A FATHERS PERSPECTIVE
On Christmas Eve 2003 my youngest daughter Suzanne died at the age of 31 from secondary lung cancer and a brain tumour after a two year battle with breast cancer.
At the time of Suzy’s second mastectomy and the aggressive nature of the cancer, it was suggested the cause could have a genetic link because of a history of ovarian cancer from my mother’s side of the family. A few months before Suzy died she consented to a blood sample to start the exhaustive search to a possible link.
Almost a year later a genetic councillor visited our home to tell us they had identified the faulty BRCA1 gene, a mutation from the ovarian cancer and the implication that my eldest daughter had a 50/50 chance of carrying the same faulty gene.
At no time was I prepared by anyone before the devastating news.
The manner in which the results were delivered was so clinical, an almost satisfaction identifying the faulty gene, a total lack of sensitivity or compassion. My feelings were of devastation, anger and fear for my other daughter Jill.
Jill had by chance seen a feature on TV about the genetic breast care helpline set up by Wendy Watson and her daughter Becky Measures.
With their invaluable help and guidance Jill was informed and mentally prepared for the genetic test which thankfully returned a negative result, she didn’t carry the gene. A huge relief to myself and the rest of the family.
It is only recently I have become involved with Wendy and Becky’s helpline. I only wish I had sought their knowledge and guidance earlier which would have helped me through my crisis. I would like to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for the help you have given my daughter Jill and wife Margaret.
It is imperative Wendy and Becky’s insatiable dedication to helping those in need is maintained and must continue.