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Happiness and heartbreak...

Date published: 23 July 2014

BOTH of these women endured gruelling chemotherapy while pregnant and went on to give birth to healthy babies . . . heartbreakingly, only one of the new mums survived.

Eva Royle, of Thurston Clough Road, Delph, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer on December 6, 2012 — the same day Mair Wallroth died.

Eva has now teamed up with Mair’s husband Pete — founder of the Mummy’s Star charity — to raise awareness of the issues surrounding cancer during pregnancy.

Mair was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 22 weeks’ pregnant and started chemotherapy straight away. She gave birth to her son Merlin in September, 2012.

As soon as Merlin was born, doctors upped Mair’s chemotherapy dose but discovered that the cancer had spread to her brain lining. She died when Merlin was just 10 weeks old.

Pete, who lives in Glossop, was inspired to set up Mummy’s Star to help other families through what is inevitably a very difficult time.

He said: “When Mair found out she had cancer, we really struggled to find any information or advice. The big cancer organisations like Macmillan and Cancer Research are excellent at what they do, but cancer during pregnancy is rare so they don’t have a great deal on offer to help families affected.

“Our midwife had only come across four cases of a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy across her 20-year career which shows how rare it is.

“Mummy’s Star offers advice, links to other families in the same situation and financial support for things like counselling sessions, childcare and help with mortgage payments. We can’t give out huge amounts but it really does make a difference.

Eva, who gave birth to baby Sam, is hosting a charity night with a Robbie Williams tribute act at Uppermill Civic Hall on Friday, September 5.

All proceeds will go to Mummy’s Star, which is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting women diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy.

Eva, who hopes to raise at least £4,000 on the night, said: “Mummy’s Star helped me to realise that I wasn’t on my own. Getting breast cancer when you are under 40 is isolating enough.

“To get breast cancer when you are pregnant is terrifying. You have so many concerns and questions.

“When I was diagnosed, I trawled the internet for advice and I came across Mair’s story. It terrified me but through that, me and Pete have become great friends and I am delighted to be associated with Mummy’s Star. It is such a unique charity that is desperately needed by the families in this situation.

For more information on the charity, visit www.mummysstar.org.
To read the full version of this story see the Chronicle’s E-chron digital edition or buy the newspaper.

 

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