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Jill and her husband on the Pink Ribbon Walk

Jill is stepping forward for a Pink Ribbon Walk

To mark the end of her hospital treatment, Jill signed up to a Pink Ribbon Walk. We asked Jill about her diagnosis, why she took part in our 2023 Pink Ribbon Walk, and how she fundraised. Our Pink Ribbon Walks are a great day out, no matter your fitness level. On a 10- or 20-mile walk, you can stroll through some of the UK’s most iconic scenery with other like-minded people.

Jill and her husband on the Pink Ribbon Walk
Jill and her husband on the Chatsworth House walk
Jill and her husband on the Chatsworth House walk

How did your diagnosis come about?

In 2020, I had a breast cancer diagnosis at age 43. I’d found a lump, but it was near my collar bone, so I never imagined it could be breast cancer.

My GP referred me to the breast clinic, and several tests later, I found out I had 3 tumours with a diagnosis of grade 3, stage 1 invasive breast cancer.

I needed a mastectomy and started my 10-year hormone treatment. And I had genetic testing that showed I carried the BRCA1 mutation. This led to more procedures to lower my high risk of getting breast cancer again. It was an overwhelming time, but Breast Cancer Now’s support was invaluable.

How did we support you?

On the day of my diagnosis, I left the hospital armed with Breast Cancer Now's information leaflets. And I joined the online forum, where I got much needed advice from others who’d been through it. Later, I took part in an online Moving Forward course and joined Younger Women Together webinars.

I used the Breast Cancer Now website to stay in-the-know about new research, and I still do. And I'm thankful to Breast Cancer Now for campaigning to have the drug Olaparib approved in England.

How have you adjusted to life after breast cancer?

Life after cancer has had its challenges. It’s taken time to accept my post-surgery body and adapt to medication side effects. I’m a strong believer in being positive, but of course, there have been tough days, which my husband and 2 boys have helped me get through.

To help me process my breast cancer journey, I started to write poems. In 2023, I self-published a book called Breast Cancer & Me, My Journey Through Poems with my poems. I hope that anyone who goes through breast cancer can relate to my words and feel inspired and uplifted by them too. All profits from my book go to 3 cancer charities, including Breast Cancer Now. The book is £5.95 including posting and packaging, and I'm thrilled that it has raised £1,130 so far.

To mark the end of 3 years of hospital treatment, I set myself the challenge of a Pink Ribbon Walk in 2023, and my husband joined me, who has given me so much support. Since my diagnosis, my mission has been raising much needed funds for Breast Cancer Now and raising awareness to younger women.

Jill and her husband on the Pink Ribbon Walk
Jill and her husband at the finish line
Jill and her husband at the finish line

Why did you choose the Pink Ribbon Walk?

Walking has been a huge part of my recovery, so it was the perfect choice. I was diagnosed during COVID-19 so walking was the only way I could spend time with friends and family, and it helped my physical and mental health.

We chose the Chatsworth House walk because Chatsworth and the Peak District are favourite places of ours. So, raising money whilst walking in a special place means so much to us.

What was your Pink Ribbon Walk experience like?

The day felt so emotional, I had tears streaming down my face. It was so moving to be surrounded by people whose lives had been touched by breast cancer too. Reaching the finish line with my husband by my side felt like such an achievement, and it was an honour to attach my pink ribbon on the line with everyone.

How did you fundraise for the walk?

I set up a JustGiving page and shared it through social media. In the end, it raised £1,805.

As well as the Pink Ribbon Walk, 2023 was a bit of a fundraising year for me in general. For Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, I raised £617 for Breast Cancer Now through selling raffle tickets for a pink hamper.


Why not follow Jill's footsteps and sign up to a Pink Ribbon Walk?

We’ll be there on the day to support you, with a clear route, expert guides and plenty of snack stops to keep you going.

Pink Ribbon Walks

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