In February 2018, at the young age of 33 and whilst on maternity leave with her daughter Willow, Sara’s world fell apart when she found out she had breast cancer. During this time, whilst living in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sara had a mastectomy, underwent 6 brutal months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She faced many challenges along the way, including losing her hair and being hospitalised on several occasions. Sara went through all this whilst trying to be a mother to a small baby and toddler.
Sara braved this journey alongside her brother Connor, who was diagnosed with throat cancer just one week after her diagnosis. She fought hard, stayed positive and gave her all, remaining steadfast in her determination to beat cancer. In November 2018 Sara ‘rang the bell’ to celebrate the end of her treatment journey. She had done it!
Sara and her family moved back to Belfast last February and from then things just fell into place. Both her and Ross got jobs, the kids got into their local school and they moved into their forever home. Things were really looking up for them until January of this year when Sara went to her doctor about increasing pain in her back. She had an MRI scan and shortly after received a phone call to say her and Ross needed to come down straight away…Sara’s world fell apart once again as she was told her cancer had returned.
We all gathered in Mum and Dad’s house waiting for Sara and Ross to return…..we knew things weren’t good, but we never expected what was to come. Sara bravely shared with her family that she had secondary breast cancer, stage 4 and that it was incurable. The MRI scan showed extensive cancer, in multiple bones, including her hips, pelvis, shoulder blade, ribcage, femur, sternum, and in her spine. The cancer in her spine was so far advanced it had caused two major fractures.
The main priority for Sara at this stage was to secure the fractures otherwise she could become paralysed. Sara, once again, underwent intensive spinal surgery to have rods placed from the top part of her spine to the bottom.
Following 8 tough weeks of recovery from surgery, Sara’s next focus was to start treatment to try and control and contain her cancer. Alongside hormonal treatment, Sara started her chemotherapy treatment in February and continues to have this on a daily basis. During this time she has faced many challenges, including hospital visits due to temperatures and infections, whilst dealing with the emotional aspect of leaving her children at home. Sara has continued to show us true resilience, always bouncing back. Sara now braves this journey not alongside her brother, but instead her Dad, who is also fighting secondary cancer.
Sara is a total inspiration. Whilst fighting her own battle she continues to raise awareness for others. She is strong, determined and simply our hero!
Now it’s time to give back to Sara and her family and make the time left with her friends and family as special as possible. Alongside Ross, Noah and Willow, Sara has created a ‘Living list’ and we want to raise as much money as possible to help her make these special memories with her family.
On Saturday 2nd July a team of us are taking on the challenge of cycling (on a spinning bike) from Belfast to Newcastle Upon Tyne (a place close to Sara’s heart) and back, in 24 hours, a total distance of 450 miles. Throughout this challenge we will be faced with both physical and mental fatigue, pain and tiredness (as we cycle through the night), some of the things that Sara has to cope with on a daily basis. If she can show resilience, determination and endurance – then we can too!
We are asking friends and family to dig deep and help us. If you would like to donate, then please just click the 'donate' button.