Shropshire fundraiser is raising awareness after breast cancer diagnosis

Sarah Jones knows first-hand the importance of having a routine mammogram.

Sophie, Verity, Sarah and Lauren are taking part in Walk the Walk's MoonWalk to raise money for the cancer charity
Sophie, Verity, Sarah and Lauren are taking part in Walk the Walk's MoonWalk to raise money for the cancer charity

In February 2021, at the age of 50, she was diagnosed with breast cancer after attending her first screening.

She credits the procedure with saving her life, as without it she would never have known she was ill.

Attending the check-up also enabled her to get the treatment she needed as quickly as possible.

"If I’d not gone to that first mammogram and waited another couple of years, my story could have been so different - I could have been saying goodbye to my loved ones," says Sarah.

Now recovered, Sarah, who lives in Shrewsbury, is raising awareness of the importance of mammograms and is raising money for breast cancer charity Walk The Walk.

"I opened up about my story on social media and know that my story pushed some of my friends to finally go for their mammograms. One person told me they’d had a reminder letter sitting in a pile for six months, but that she’d finally booked an appointment, because of me.

"That’s why I’m so keen to raise awareness about the importance of mammograms. Sometimes people do need pushing. Sometimes they might not be ok. Early diagnosis is so important – the earlier breast cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat," she explains.

Along with her daughters Lauren and Sophie and close friend, Verity Aldridge, who has also just come through breast cancer, she will be taking part in The MoonWalk London on Saturday, May 20.

Thousands of women and men wearing brightly decorated bras will walk 26.2 miles, known as the Full Moon route, through the streets of London at midnight.

A previous fundraising event for Walk The Walk Photo: John Rainford

Mother of three Sarah says her breast cancer diagnosis came as "a bolt from the blue" as she had been expecting her first routine mammogram to be "just that - routine".

"I have no history of breast cancer in my family and in my head, I thought I’d be in and out very quickly for my mammogram and that they wouldn’t find anything," she explains.

"As it turned out, everything wasn’t okay. Less than two weeks later I was called back to the hospital for further tests and had three biopsies taken.

"The mammogram had discovered two lumps in my right breast. The doctors said that they’d probably been there a while, but that there was no way that I could have felt the lumps myself. I tended to check my breasts probably once a year, but I’d never found a lump.

"I went back for my results and was told that I had breast cancer, which was a huge shock," she explains.

"Everything moved very quickly after that and I had decisions to make. I needed a mastectomy, but knew that that I didn’t want to be flat on my right side, so I opted for a reconstruction."

After the operation, Sarah underwent 15 sessions of radiotherapy and once doctors knew the treatment had done its job, she returned to hospital for the final part of her reconstruction surgery.

"Although I’m now recovered from the cancer itself, I’ll be taking the hormone therapy Tamoxifen for between five and ten years to prevent it coming back.

"Like with the surgery, I’ve been lucky that I’ve had no after-effects from taking the drug – I know that some people suffer really badly with it. I’m so grateful and sometimes feel a bit of a fraud, as I’ve not had any problems with my operations or treatment.

"I’m very aware that’s not always the case. I am a positive person, which has really helped me - my husband Patrick and my kids Lauren and Sophie have all been very supportive too. The two girls both drive and they ferried me to every appointment, whether it was just a check-up or something more major," explains Sarah, now aged 52.

"I’m still having mammograms once a year. I tell all my friends on Facebook when I’m going and remind them to check their breasts. I also suggest they take a picture in a mirror once a year, so they can notice more easily if there’ve been any changes. Not many of us actually stand in front of a mirror and look at our naked breasts. But we should!"

Now she is looking forward to taking on the Full Moon at The MoonWalk London next month and raising money for the charity, which grant funds for research, raises awareness and provides emotional and physical support for those living with cancer.

"I’d always talked about doing The MoonWalk, but never actually signed up," says Sarah. "It was Verity who gave me the final push and suggested that we do it this year. I love walking and find that it’s a real stress reliever. I can’t wait to take part with a group of the most wonderful people who’ve supported me so amazingly over the last couple of years.

"My message to my fellow MoonWalkers and to everyone else, is that when you’re offered a mammogram, just go! You’re in and out in five minutes and it’s not painful – just a little discomfort maybe. There is no reason for anyone to be scared of having it done.

"I’m happy to share the story of how a routine mammogram saved my life to anyone who would like to listen – if it saves just one person, it will have been worth it."

*To sign up for The MoonWalk London 2023, go to

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