In November 2020, Sarah was diagnosed with Triple negative breast cancer at the age of 45 and sadly passed away in 2022.
Now, Sarah’s twin sister Cara formed a team of Sarah’s loved ones to run this year’s London Landmarks Half Marathon in Sarah’s memory. Cara has decided to run in aid of Barts Charity, and we are honoured Cara has decided to fundraise for us.
“[Sarah] went through a gruelling chemotherapy regime, surgery and then radiotherapy taking her to September 2021 – this was done privately in Windsor. We thought she was through the worst and needed time to recover, however she was never right and was still in pain which was dismissed and she was referred for physio.”Cara, Fundraiser
By March 2022, Sarah’s pain, in particular her shoulder pain, had significantly worsened and she also noticed a small spot on her chest. As a result, she revisited her surgeon to take a biopsy. Sarah was in Antigua with Cara and their two families in April 2022 when she got the alarming news that her cancer had returned. On 26 April, following various scans, she was told that it had spread to her bones, liver and lungs.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital joins the story
Reacting to the news, Cara explained, “she was due to start a new chemo regime when she heard about Professor Peter Schmid, [Director of Barts Breast Cancer Centre], so she decided to email him. He was so nice to her, squeezing her in to his busy schedule and giving an hour of his time at the end of his day.”
From speaking with him, she decided to delay chemotherapy to enter a clinical drug trial. She was going through the screening process organised by Professor Schmid and his team at St Bartholomew’s Hospital when her health went drastically downhill. During one of her visits to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, she had to be admitted as she was struggling to breathe.
Ten days later Sarah tragically passed away.
“We all thought she’d make it out of hospital. We didn’t realise it was almost the end. We thought it was a case of some chemotherapy, lung drain and get her home. We only found out two days before she died that she was going to die.”Cara, Fundraiser
Cara shared, “she barely got a chance to say goodbye to her two children aged 15 and 13 at the time. Her care team did everything they could for Sarah but sadly it was just too late.”
The training begins
In the wake of Sarah’s passing, Cara felt compelled to honour the memory of her sister, which ultimately lead to her registering for the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Cara explained, “the only way I can get through losing my twin is to make her proud and do something like raising money and running the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Training has kept me busy and given me a much needed focus.”
Cara has been overwhelmed with support for her fundraising efforts. She said, “when I mentioned what I wanted to do to a few people, gradually many more wanted to join in which is how Team Sarah was formed. It started at her funeral, I told a few people what I was going to do and many wanted to join me and do it, too.
Sarah’s Team is full of family, friends, some of her netball team and work colleagues.”
“Hopefully we will do other events. It will be hard to always raise significant amounts of money as I think you only have one big shot at raising lots of money or else people get a bit fed up of giving. But people have connected with our story and we have been overwhelmed by the amount of donations we have already received.”Cara, Fundraiser
Thanks so much to Cara and Team Sarah for their support – we wish you the best of luck in the London Landmarks Half Marathon.
Breast Cancer Services
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in the UK today, with one woman diagnosed every ten minutes. The number of people who survive breast cancer for five years or more after they are diagnosed is lower in East London than the rest of the UK.
We want this to change. Together, we could make it happen.
Our ambition is to centralise surgical services alongside other breast cancer services at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. By bringing expertise together in one place we could significantly improve surgical outcomes and experience for patients. Experts in one place would create the multi-disciplinary hub required to deliver world class care and drive forward breast cancer research.