AN Enniskillen woman who describes herself as “one of the lucky ones” will face one of her toughest battles yet, as she embarks on a personal yet challenging journey to raise vital funds for life-saving cancer research.
Jolene Nig Uidhir along with her son Óisín, nephew Allen and his fiancee Rachel will take on the Mourne Seven Summits challenge later this year for Cancer Focus NI, a service which is close to the heart of Jolene and her family due to the care and support that it offers to cancer patients and their families when it is needed most.
“Everyone has BRCA genes but unfortunately due to genetics some people have a mutation on theirs which puts them at an extremely high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer,” Jolene told the Herald.
“Anyone who knows our family history will know this mutation has tore through our family like a tornado and I have watched my mum, sister and aunties kick the backside of cancer and worried would it ever knock on my door.
“Thankfully due to the bravery of our survivors and the BRCA genetics team it was discovered that I too have this mutation and whilst it has changed my life forever and I’ve had to make very difficult decisions, I feel blessed that I am less likely to ever have to face what my beautiful mum, sisters and aunties did.”
After speaking with an organiser about the BCRA gene, Jolene was informed of all the incredible work that Cancer Focus NI does in relation to BCRA research, local genetics teams and the various prevention programmes that are carried out in schools with young boys and girls.
When informed about the upcoming Mourne Seven Summits in June, which entails climbing to the summit of all seven peaks in the Mourne Mountains that are 700m or more above sea level, Jolene revealed that this was a “perfect opportunity” to finally achieve her dream of raising awareness and funds for what she described as “life changing work.”
The mum-of-three added, “When I went back and spoke to my family about doing the extreme challenge, my son Óisín said he would love to get involved, and after that my nephew Allen Neville along with his fiancee Rachel Nixon decided to join in on the challenge too.
“By doing this challenge hopefully it will help spread the word and get people talking about it. By raising awareness hopefully it will alert people who have a history of cancer in their family to get tested, and for them to know that if genetics are involved that there are people out there to help you and offer preventative operations if need be.
Locals can donate to Jolene’s fundraiser by going to https://bit.ly/3tzw82N
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