A Tesco employee thought she had been sentenced to death after finding a pea-sized lump in her breast while showering.
Debbie Layfield was showering at her home in Claughton, Wirral, when she took a call from a family member who had found a lump. The mother-of-three tried to reassure her relative that the lump would likely be nothing to worry about, but when she stepped into the bath moments later, Debbie was shocked to find that she, too, had a lump in her breast.
Debbie, whose youngest child was in elementary school at the time, went to see her doctor after the casual phone call and was immediately referred to the Clatterbridge Cancer Center. The 44-year-old woman underwent a series of tests in one afternoon, and at 4pm, she was informed that she had breast cancer.
READ MORE: ‘Devastation’ as ‘bubbly and adorable’ mother found dead in her home
Meanwhile, Debbie’s family member was informed that she had a non-cancerous lump. Debbie said she was in total disbelief after receiving her diagnosis and struggled to speak.
In the Cancer Research UK audio recording, she said: “My first thoughts when the doctor told me were that I would not see my children grow up, get married or have children.”
Debbie said she was finally able to explain to her children that she had the same illness that Kylie Minogue was successfully treated for and assured everyone that she would be fine. She had a mastectomy and her doctors were pleased the cancer hadn’t spread.
However, they warned her that she had a very aggressive form of the disease and planned to give her extra doses of chemotherapy. After undergoing daily radiation therapy while still finishing chemotherapy, Debbie faced another devastating blow when her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died months later.
Fortunately, Debbie made a successful recovery from her cancer treatment in 2009 and went on to take the drug tamoxifen for 10 years. Cancer Research UK researchers helped prove the benefits of taking tamoxifen after surgery for women with the most common type of breast cancer.
About 8 out of 10 women now survive for at least 10 years, thanks in part to this life-saving treatment. Debbie initially struggled to talk about her cancer journey after finishing treatment, but later decided to dedicate herself to raising awareness and funds for Cancer Research UK.
The mother of three, now 57, is the Tesco Bidston Moss Community Champion and has encouraged hundreds of customers and colleagues over the years to sign up for Race for Life and raise funds. She knows exactly how vital it is to raise funds for life-saving research – which is why she is asking people to visit raceforlife.org and participate.
Debbie has been such a passionate supporter of Race for Life that she was chosen as a VIP guest at the Wirral event on Sunday, May 22nd. She will honk the starter horn at Birkenhead Park before joining the attendees and will also attend Sefton Park on Sunday, July 10th.
Debbie said: “I feel passionate about the work of Cancer Research UK who have lost so many loved ones to the disease. But I can see the advances made in research, and even if each person donates a pound to someone who participates in Race for Life, we are one step closer to more people surviving.
“I hope my story helps connect with people in the moments before they set off on the Race for Life race. It is a privilege to have the chance, through audio recording at Race for Life events, to thank the amazing people who are raising funds to support life-saving research.”
Debbie’s powerful story is one of six audio recordings of cancer survivors that will be played at Race for Life events across the UK this year. Every year around 44,900 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will have cancer in their lifetime.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events that raise millions of pounds every year to help fight cancer by funding research. crucial. Events will follow current government guidelines for protection against COVID-19 and hand sanitizer will be provided.
Jane Bullock, spokesperson for Cancer Research UK North West, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Debbie for her support and we know her story will make an impact on attendees when played on stage at the start of Race for Life.
“Unfortunately, cancer affects all of us in some way. Whether people are living with cancer, participating in honor or memory of a loved one with cancer, or signing up to protect their own children’s future, everyone has a reason to run for life. So we are asking people across the region, “Who are you going to run to?”
“Our Race for Life events are open to everyone. For some people, the Race for Life is literally a walk in the park. Slow and steady still wins. For others, it’s a race. Others may choose to push themselves harder, taking the 10km distance challenge and even aiming for a new personal best time.
“We look forward to welcoming people of all ages and abilities. Race for Life will be fun, exciting, colourful, exciting and an unforgettable event this year.”
For more information and to join the Race for Life click here.