Mum and daughter beat up killer

A mum who fought breast cancer and her daughter who helped her beat it got in the ring together to pack a punch to the deadly disease.

Tina and Holly Bird of Ryecroft in Stevenage donned boxing gloves at the launch of the Cancer Research UK breast cancer awareness and fundraising campaign - Join the Fight for Women’s Survival.

Tina, aged 47, had not been particularly concerned after the nipple on her left breast became inverted but promised her daughter she would get it checked out after the 17-year-old continued to ask her to go to the doctors.

After finally going to her GP, she was immediately referred to specialists.

“I will never forget staring at my daughter standing at the end of the bed and hearing the radiographer say that he could see a lump,” Tina said.

“I burst into tears because until then I had not realised the seriousness of the situation. I thought it could never happen to me.”

Tests confirmed she needed a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

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Tina held the news back from her daughter who was about to go to a music festival. She asked family and friends not to say anything until she returned so Holly “could go away and experience one of the best times of her life”.

But when she came back Tina broke the news that she had cancer.

“The worst thing was telling my daughter. But she has been my rock throughout. As a single parent we have always been a strong team.”

Holly who cut her mum’s long hair before she lost it during chemotherapy, and then styled her numerous wigs. She also went with her to treatments.

A further blow to the pair was the loss of Tina’s dad to skin cancer while she was undergoing treatment herself. Tina had accompanied him to hospital appointments, never thinking she would soon be attending the same clinics herself.

Tina who is now recovering well after breast reconstruction surgery, said: “I told my dad it was up to me to continue the fight against cancer and that is exactly what I am doing.

“I could not have got where I am without my daughter’s never-ending support and encouragement from all my family and friends”.

Tina urged readers to help the 48,000 women affected by breast cancer every year in the UK by raising funds for Cancer Research. For a fundraising pack go to or call 08701 602040.

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