‘Dent’ leads to diagnosis and charity support

Sue and Nigel Birrell are sponsoring the Big Bro Race in aid of Suffolk Breast Cancer Now  Pictured: Laura Hudson, Nigel and Sue Birrell   PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Sue and Nigel Birrell are sponsoring the Big Bro Race in aid of Suffolk Breast Cancer Now Pictured: Laura Hudson, Nigel and Sue Birrell PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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When Sue Birrell looked at herself in the mirror last year, something didn’t seem right.

The skin on her breast seemed dented – as though someone had pressed their thumb into putty but it had not sprung back – and something in that sight stirred an old memory.

Many years ago Sue, 56, of Bury St Edmunds, had read a newspaper article about breast cancer symptoms. As well as the lumps most women know to check for, it had mentioned dents as being a warning sign.

“I never felt any lump,” said Sue. “I only saw the dent when I lifted my arms in front of the mirror that day. I went to my GP and I was booked in for a test within two weeks.”

That test revealed Sue had an 8mm cancerous tumour. She had an operation to remove it, followed by a course of radiotherapy. Sue has since been given the all-clear, but has regular check-ups.

“I think letting people know about the dent is so important. I found it from reading a newspaper article and hope someone else might read this and remember it,” added Sue.

Following Sue’s treatment and the ‘fantastic’ care they received at West Suffolk Hospital’s breast care unit, she and her husband Nigel were keen to do something for charity. So when they heard Suffolk Breast Cancer Now volunteer Laura Hudson needed a sponsor for the Big BRO Race, they decided to help.

Nigel said: “Laura needed £1,500 to cover the event costs, so we asked our friends and family to give us £1,500 so she could turn it into £5,000.

“I started it off with £500 as a thank you for the support and excellent care Sue received, and then it only took three weeks to reach our target.”

The Big BRO Race is at The Playground, in Barrow, on September 24. Entry is £45, with all proceeds to the charity. Entrants face a 24km ride, 4km run and 25 obstacles. Enter at www.theplaygrounduk.com