Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Have Seen How Scary It Is for a Child to Know Their Parent Isn't Well; Meet the Brave Mum Determined to Help Others after Beating Cancer Twice

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

I Have Seen How Scary It Is for a Child to Know Their Parent Isn't Well; Meet the Brave Mum Determined to Help Others after Beating Cancer Twice

Article excerpt

Byline: Naomi Corrigan Reporter naomi.corrigan@trinitymirror.com

For more pictures go to www.gazettelive.co.uk A CANCER survivor who was diagnosed with breast cancer twice in five years is hoping to help other families affected by the disease.

Sarah Mendoza first noticed a problem with her breast in January 2009, but said the GP told her it was nothing.

Just before her 39th birthday, her father Lewis Byrne died of a non-malignant aggressive brain tumour.

"He had ignored his health problems and I refused to do the same," she said.

"I went to the doctor, who prescribed some antibiotics for mastitis. When these did not work he sent me for a biopsy."

In the August she was diagnosed with a rare type of nipple cancer.

The Redcar mum said throughout her treatment she has always tried to ensure her two daughters were protected and given distractions.

And her aim is now to set up a local support and activity group to help other families in the same position.

The 45-year-old said: "The idea is that they can do something fun that will make them feel like kids again, as well as receive support.

"I have seen what a scary thing it is for a child to know their parents are not well and be scared of losing them."

Sarah vowed to fight the disease for her children, Kayleigh and Sophia, who were 19 and five years old at the time of her first diagnosis.

She had a mastectomy of her left breast followed by immediate reconstruction. Sarah thought that would be it, and went back to her normal life with follow-up monitoring.

But she did make changes.

"As there was no one-on-one peer support in the UK for children I wanted to distract my youngest daughter, Sophia, from the stress of what had been going on with me," she said.

"At the time we lived in London so started going to premieres and collecting stars' autographs. We named our new hobby 'Paint C Out',' because everyone paints their cancer journey out in their own individualistic way. …

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