A charity calendar aims to highlight how hereditary cancer can affect all walks of life.
Compiled by Peak FM presenter Becky Measures, the 2015 calendar features pictures and stories of men, women and children whose lives have been blighted by harmful BRCA gene mutations.
The calendar will raise vital funds for the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline. It was founded in 1996 by Becky’s mum Wendy who became Britain’s first woman to have both breasts removed in a desperate bid to avoid the cancer which has stalked her family.
Becky, of Newbold, who also had a double mastectomy after tests revealed she had an 80 to 90 per cent risk of developing breast cancer, said: “With this wonderful calendar, we felt it was really important to get across how BRCA gene mutations can affect entire families.
“Each month there are pictures and stories from all different angles, including a man who has potentially passed the gene on to his daughter and two young boys whose mum is a carrier.
“The calendar is inspiring and informative and aims to raise more awareness of these gene mutations – while raising money for the helpline.”
Wendy, of Over Haddon, said: “I am immensely proud of Becky for putting this calendar together.”
In the calendar, Becky’s partner Alex Menzies says: “When I first met Beck I wasn’t fully aware of the BRCA gene and the reasons she’d had reconstructive surgery. Over the next few weeks I was introduced to Wendy, the charity and the fabulous work they do, plus the explanations of why. The thought of having a hereditary disease that could wipe out such high numbers of your family must be terrifying and put you in a nervous condition regarding children. Thanks to the progress that’s been achieved by the helpline, these are no fears of mine. Our beautiful daughter Eva May Jean may still be a carrier of the BRCA gene but without the fear. Life is being cut short thanks to certain forms of cancer but I don’t feel it is of any threat to our family!”
Becky and Wendy thanked everyone who made the calendar possible, including Chesterfield-based firm Model Mentor which took the photographs free of charge. The calendar is available to buy from all National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline shops and online at www.brcababes.com