Bury St Edmunds nurse Sarah Gooderham becomes 'boobette' with CoppaFeel charity after breast cancer diagnosis
A Bury St Edmunds nurse who was diagnosed with breast cancer has partnered with a charity to help raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms.
Sarah Gooderham, who works at West Suffolk Hospital as a recovery nurse and resuscitation practitioner, was diagnosed with breast cancer last June after finding a lump.
“I had an inclination that something wasn’t right and that it wasn’t normal for me,” she said.
“In hindsight there were lots of signs that I had thought were just general changes.”
A year on, after undergoing a mastectomy in December and finishing chemotherapy and radiotherapy last month, she has become a ‘boobette’ with the CoppaFeel charity.
In her role as a ‘boobette’, Sarah, as someone with personal experience of the disease, will attend events to talk to other young women about the importance of self-checking and what signs to look out for.
“As younger women, we don’t have access to mammograms and things that are only available to women over 50 so that’s why checking yourself is important. It’s the only tool you’ve got,” said the 36-year-old, who is mother to four-year-old Sidney and two-year-old Florence.
“I wanted to reach out to women like me. I felt like information was directed at the older population and it wasn’t relevant to me.
“I needed to know about other things like how to still care for my children while going through treatment and how to deal with having to take time out of my career.”
Raising awareness is especially close to Sarah’s heart after also watching her mother Roz be diagnosed with the same disease when she was 38. Roz, now 67, still has metastatic cancer which has spread to her bones.
“In one way it’s good to know she’s got through it and is still here with us after going through the same thing,” said Sarah.
“But in some ways, it means I’m more aware of what she’s gone through over the last 30 years and that plays on my mind as well.
“In the same way, my being a nurse can be helpful but also a hindrance. I know too much about what can happen.”
Sarah completed her first talk at Stanton Pre School on Tuesday.
“It means an awful lot. What really spurs me on is the number of people who said I was ‘too young’ to have cancer. But young women do get cancer and it is really important to be aware of that and check for it,” she said.