Victoria joins BooBee’s Big Campaign
‘Early detection made all the difference for me’
Our BooBee Ambassadors are 100 women who have been affected by breast cancer. They are joining together to fundraise and spread awareness for a future free from breast cancer. Our BooBees are raring to go and would love for you to join them for their flagship fundraising event – BooBee presents Bingo Bedlam – a high-octane evening of emotion, inspiration, and FUN at Manchester Central on November 19th.
One of our newest recruits is Victoria Merrill. Victoria was only 39 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, a year today, on November 11th, 2021. After recovering, she has made it her mission to not only spread awareness, but also raise vitally important funds for Prevent Breast Cancer.
Victoria has very kindly shared her breast cancer story with us and told us why she wanted to be part of BooBee’s Big Campaign 2022.
Could you tell us about your breast cancer diagnosis?
At the end of September 2021, after seeing a Prevent Breast Cancer social media post shared by a friend, I checked myself and found a small lump. I quickly contacted my GP who referred me to the breast clinic at The Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital. It was a massive shock at the age of 39 to then receive a diagnosis of primary oestrogen receptive breast cancer in early November. I underwent a mastectomy, reconstruction surgery and sentinel lymph node biopsy in January 2022. Thankfully my lymph node biopsy came back all clear, and I’m now all sorted. No chemo or further treatment needed, just Tamoxifen medication which reduces the risk of reoccurrence, yearly scans and back to normal life. I returned to work at the end of March. Early detection made all the difference for me, and I am so grateful I caught it when I did.
What inspired you to take part in BooBee’s Big Campaign?
To help raise awareness around the importance of checking your breasts regularly and getting anything unusual checked out quickly. I didn’t check myself regularly prior to my diagnosis and feel so lucky to have found it the way I did. I don’t have a family history of breast cancer and have two young daughters, so I’m passionate about the focus of Prevent Breast Cancer’s work around early detection, and research into risk factors for women like myself, which will be applicable for future generations including my girls. To do this however, we need to help the charity raise the much-needed funds for their vitally important research projects.
I turned 40 in January of this year, but ended up having my party in May, due to having my cancer surgery around my birthday. I decided to use my party as an opportunity to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer, and I was absolutely delighted that I managed to raise over £1000! I would like to send a huge thank you to my friends and family for all their generous donations.
What are you hoping to gain from joining BooBee’s Big Campaign?
To share my story which might encourage others to check themselves regularly and get anything unusual checked out quickly. I think the fear of a cancer diagnosis and treatment means some people delay going to their doctors with lumps, but really, early detection actually means sometimes these treatments can be avoided.
Thank you so much to Victoria for sharing her journey to being a BooBee Ambassador with us.