A Wigan mum raises breast cancer awareness with crazy headwear
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Angela Ratcliffe, a primary school teacher, lives with her husband Chris, and their two children Max, nine, and Gerorgia, six, at their home in Standish.
The 38-year-old was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in the summer, after discovering a lump in her left breast, and is now undergoing chemotherapy.
TNBC is considered an aggressive cancer because it grows quickly, is more likely to have spread at the time it is found and accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of all breast tumors.
To raise awareness and funds for charity,Breast Cancer Now, and whenever she's well enough to do the school run, Angela wears crazy hats to help make it easier for children to talk about it.
She said: “I found a lump in my breast in July and was then diagnised with triple negative breast cancer. We obviously wanted to be open with the children so straight away we told them about it.
"I’ve got a nine-year-old and a six-year-old and they were coping considerably well until I lost my hair. My youngest found it very difficult so we started to play about with the wigs and the hats at home at first, to make it easier for them and the children really enjoyed it. And then, we did it as a bit of a joke, that I went to the school one day with a wig on and all the other children liked it as well.
"We wanted to do it to make it as normal as possibe and easier to speak about with the children. It kind of got people talking about it because I don’t think people expect someone my age to have cancer.
"All the other parents started to chat about it and then we decided to do the fundraiser.
"So, I set up a fundraising page on Facbook called Wig-on-her and I shared the daft wigs and things that I’ve been wearing to school. At the minute I think we are just over £1,800.
"I started off with £1,000 being the target but we went past that mark really quickly, so we are now hoping to raise £5,000 and I’ll just keep doing it all for as long as I’m well enough to.
"I have a massive mohican wig, I’ve got a green squid hat, a turkey hat and all sorts, that have been donated to me from people. They send them to me in the post as well as a donation so it’s really great.
"I’m getting requests off my children’s school friends now, telling me what kind of wig or hat to wear, so the whole school are getting involved!”
About her treatment, Angela said: "I’m having chemotherapy at the moment and then I’ll have to have a double mastectomy after that.
"Hopefully that will be it but I’ll have to have an MRI before we know anything more.”
You can donate funds for Angela’s cause on her Just Giving page. All proceeds go to Breast Cancer Now. Follow Angela’s Wig-on-her journey at: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100087245438296