Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Girls Mean Everything to Me.And Now Maybe I Do Have a Future

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

My Girls Mean Everything to Me.And Now Maybe I Do Have a Future

Article excerpt


THE first thing Julie Craig wanted to know when she was diagnosed with breast cancer was how long she had left with her three daughters.

Her world was shattered last year when she was told she may only have 12 months left to live as the cancer had spread to her bones.

The 44-year-old single mum was determined to stay strong for her children but her consultant had been brutally honest - there was little hope of a cure.

So imagine her shock when she turned up for her latest test results half expecting a death sentence only to be given the all clear.

"It's a miracle," said Julie. "I can't believe it.

"It means maybe I have a future." The mum, from Marton, Middlesbrough, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2008 after finding a lump. She had only checked herself because she had been speaking to a woman in the pub who was fighting the disease.

Julie had to have a breast removed followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy which resulted in her losing her shoulder-length blonde hair.

But that soon became the least of her worries. Further tests revealed a mass on her ribs - the cancer had spread.

"You just think you are going to die," said Julie. You don't sleep, you can't eat, your whole outlook changes." The hardest thing was breaking the news to daughters Katie, 22, Alix, 17, and Mollie, 11.

"I'm a positive and strong person but this absolutely knocked me down.

"I ached in every muscle. I had to force myself to get up.

"I did not want the girls to miss out on anything because I had cancer.

They were scared enough as it was."

Julie needed to know exactly what she was fighting so she asked for the worst case scenario, only to be warned that she may only have 12 months left.

"I could not help thinking this Christmas might be my last," she said.

Despite everything she was going through, Julie wanted to give something back to the Holistic Centre based at James Cook University Hospital which provided her with therapies such as reiki and introduced her to a local support group, so she opened her home up for a coffee morning, raising pounds 300. …

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