23rd Oct, 2017

Coventry Cancer survivor teams up with daughter for Britain's Biggest Breakfast for charity

Chris Willmott 15th Feb, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY cancer survivor has teamed up with her young daughters to serve up a brekkie bonanza as they take part in Britain’s Biggest Breakfast for Cancer Research UK this March.

Rebecca Cooke, aged 37, and her daughters Tilly-Rose (9) and Poppy-Jade (3) posed with giant ‘Biggest Breakfast’ cereal boxes to encourage Coventry folk to turn on the toaster, serve up the cereal and raise money to help beat cancer sooner.

Britain’s Biggest Breakfast for Cancer Research UK is a fundraising campaign which calls on supporters to host or attend a breakfast event on Friday 11 March, or any time during the month.

The charity is encouraging people to organise a breakfast party at home, in the office or at school and invite their friends and family to make a donation to attend.

Rebecca, who works as a PA for Coventry City Council, was motivated to back the campaign after surviving breast cancer herself. She hopes friends and work colleagues will join her at the fundraising breakfast table on March 11.

Her diagnosis came at the age of 35 when she discovered a lump in her breast. She was initially given a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, but genetic testing revealed that Rebecca had the BRCA2 mutation.

Rebecca said: “They decided to do genetic testing because my Nan had died of breast cancer. It did change everything when they realised it was a genetic form of breast cancer. It made it more likely to recur, and predisposed me to ovarian cancer too.”

In September 2014 Rebecca opted to undego a double preventative mastectomy, followed in may 2015 by surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes.

“I was the kind of person who wouldn’t even take a paracetamol, so it really hit me hard to be so ill. I didn’t know how I was going to cope with cancer treatment when I had two such young children, but somehow you do just deal with it.

“My kids always put the smile back on my face, no matter how low I was. My family, colleagues and friends were fantastic. I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard, but I just want other women to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she added.

In October 2015 Rebecca received the fabulous news that she was in remission.

She said: “It’s thanks to research and treatment that I’m still here today.

“Since 1999 when my Nan died the progress has been amazing and I now appreciate how crucial research is. My daughters will be able to be genetically tested too, and in ten years time the outlook will be even better for them.

“That’s why my girls and I will be putting breakfast top of the menu this March and inviting everyone to get involved.”

Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the West Midlands, said: “We’d like to thank Rebecca, Tilly-Rose and Poppy-Jade for serving up a tasty spread for Britain’s Biggest Breakfast in order to fund life-saving research.

“We’re urging Coventry folk to follow their lead and invite friends, work colleagues and neighbours to take a seat at the breakfast table. A hearty brekkie is a great way to start the day, so it’s time to set the alarm and make your breakfast bigger and better than ever this March.”

Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its research but with help from the people of the West Midlands the charity is fighting the disease on all fronts.

Cancer Research UK’s Britain’s Biggest Breakfast pack contains everything supporters need to plan their perfect breakfast, including posters, decorations, recipe suggestions and fundraising ideas.

To sign up and get a free fundraising pack, visit cruk.org/breakfast

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