I really want to be a mum

Becki Salmons, aged 20, of Stannington, who has been treated for cancer of the ovaries, is pictured with her boyfriend Adam Mir, aged 22, of Intake.
Becki Salmons, aged 20, of Stannington, who has been treated for cancer of the ovaries, is pictured with her boyfriend Adam Mir, aged 22, of Intake.
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The ordeal has made Leeds Metropolitan University student Becki totally re-think her life.

“I was now supposed to be in my third year of a psychology and criminology degree; I was set on carving out a career in the prison service.

Becki Salmons, aged 20, of Stannington, who has been treated for cancer of the ovaries, pictured in hospital.

Becki Salmons, aged 20, of Stannington, who has been treated for cancer of the ovaries, pictured in hospital.

“But that’s not what is important to me now,” she says.

What is on her mind something she had never previously stopped to consider - motherhood.

Although Becki’s other ovary was healthy, she is at increased risk of going into a very early menopause. And the chemo treatment meant she had to consider her ability to have children in later life.

If she ever wanted to become a mum, the hospital needed to make plans. There was a choice; she could have eggs from her healthy ovary removed and frozen, a process which often does not work, or have eggs removed, fertilised by her 22-year-old boyfriend Adam Mir’s sperm and the embryos frozen.

“It was a huge decision to have to make at our age,” says Becki.

“I decided against having my eggs fertilised because it puts too much pressure on Adam and I.

“He has been so supportive; he’s been there every step of the way, even shaving my long hair off for me when the chemo made it start to fall out,” she smiles. “But who knows what will happen to us as a couple in the future?

“Though it has made me realise that whatever happens in my life, I do want to be come a mum. When something is nearly taken away from you, you realise how important it actually is.”

Becki wants to use her experience to warn other women of the risks of ovarian cancer. While she knows there is little girls of her age can do because their tumours often grow silently and without any visible symptom, that it not the case for the majority of sufferers - older women who usually show a range of minor symptoms they brush off as nothing sinister.

“My life was turned upside down in just nine months; I think I’m still coming to terms with it all. During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month I want to make women aware of the symtoms they might be experiencing and encourage them to get checked by their GP.”