A huge well done to our inspirational colleague Alex Newbould and her sisters Jo and Lou who've raised a grand total of £6,262 for our Tickled Pink breast cancer charity appeal.
It's a cause that's very close to their hearts, as the sisters have a genetic predisposition to cancer. Alex was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2017 at the age of 27, just two weeks after Lou was diagnosed with cancer – and two years after Jo's diagnosis.
They're each making a good recovery and completed the Great North Run together last month to raise money for Breast Cancer Now – to show "collective strength, optimism and determination to live life on our own terms".
Alex, who works at our Leeds Home Office, said: "We carry a faulty BRCA1, giving us high odds of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
"We had a 100% hit rate – I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2017 just two weeks after my sister Lou’s diagnosis and two years after my eldest sister Jo’s diagnosis.
"Being diagnosed in your 20s is probably much the same as being diagnosed at any other time of life. It’s at best inconvenient and at worst a horrendous assault on your body, mind and everything you had taken for granted up to that point.
"One of the hardest things about diagnosis is that those closet to you suffer too.
"Supporting someone with a diagnosis is no picnic, and as sisters we have been in the unenviable position of being both the diagnosed person and part of each other’s support systems, which has brought a complex set of emotions to navigate."
Alex had reconstructive surgery earlier this year, but that didn't stop her from preparing and training for the 13-mile Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields.
She completed it along with her sisters, her partner Tim and Jo's husband Duncan, and said: "We would like to really thank everyone who donated and supported us."
They also ran for their Aunty Chris, who also carries the BRCA1 gene mutation and has had both breast and ovarian cancer, now in remission for 17 years.
Alex said: "As kids we remember her upbeat, ‘bring it on’ attitude that would become such an inspiration to us during our own treatment."
She said the vast majority of breast cancer cases were in people over 55, but being diagnosed at a younger age brought particular challenges .
"It interrupts work at a time you’re focused on your career, questions over fertility, financial concerns, the potential for future diagnoses, and much more," said Alex.
"Historically support services – and the millions of leaflets they give you after diagnosis – have aimed at the majority, which can leave younger people feeling isolated and lonely when they don’t see their priority issues reflected in support materials."
She said they were all great supporters of Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign, which has been running for 23 years and has raised more than £60 million for breast cancer charities funding support services and research.
You can still donate support the family's fundraising efforts by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jladt