AGE isn’t a defence - cancer can strike anyone at any time in their lives.

Beth Brown was 22 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She admits she wasn’t aware of the symptoms but one of the most common - the discovery of a lump - wasn’t something she experienced either.

For Beth something felt slightly different and, considering her age and the fact that no-one in her family had experienced breast cancer her decision to seek medical advice wasn’t immediate.

At the time she was planning her forthcoming wedding to her husband, Mikey. It was something that could wait until after the celebrations when she would have more time to focus.

The discovery of an aggressive form of cancer, which has since spread to her bones, has prompted Beth to raise awareness and help to educate others on how vital it is to seek medical advice.

“I found a hardening on top of my breast and I kept putting it off with the wedding and our little girl, Amelia, was only 18 months old at this point so I put it off,” says Beth.

It was during a mini honeymoon break in Malaga that Beth became conscious it was still there and decided to go to see the doctor on her return.

She was referred as a precaution - and shocked at the outcome.

“They referred me for an urgent appointment at the breast clinic. I went and thought it would be a really quick appointment but they started with an ultra-sound on the breast, they did a mammogram and needle biopsy so at that point I thought something was not right,” recalls Beth.

Following the tests, Beth had to wait a week for the needle biopsy result but she still remained hopeful that, due to her age, it wouldn’t be anything serious.

“That was probably the longest week of my life,” she recalls.

On hearing the devastating news Beth admits she thought they’d got it wrong.

“I thought they were wrong. I thought it couldn’t be and mainly because of my age.”

Genetic research has since revealed there isn’t a faulty family gene either.

And if that news wasn’t devastating enough, Beth discovered she was pregnant with their second child the day after her diagnosis.

“We’d been trying for a baby but I totally forgot when to test and a reminder popped up on my phone so I thought it is better to know and it came up straight away positive,” recalls Beth.

“I was over the moon and happy but also thought what if we can’t go through with it, what if the treatment hurts the baby? I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

As the pregnancy was in the very early stages, Beth was advised to terminate allowing her to start her treatment immediately.

Throughout Christmas 2013 she was coping with chemotherapy but determined to make it a Christmas to remember.

“With it being that time of year I really focused on Christmas and giving Amelia a big family Christmas as I thought it could be my last Christmas with her so I used it as an escape and tried to focus as much as I could,” says Beth.

Her chemotherapy treatment lasted six months. She also had a single mastectomy but, in the meantime, tests revealed the cancer had spread to Beth’s bones.

Beth is currently on treatment to stabilise the cancer.

“It is still manageable. I’m not as able as I should be at 27 I had to give up my job,” says the former NHS call handler.

Eager to raise awareness that breast cancer can affect younger women - Beth is now working closely with the breast cancer charity Coppafeel!.

CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by Kristin Hallenga and her twin sister Maren. Kris was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at the age of 23.

Unaware breast cancer could affect people in their 20s, and knowing little about the disease, Kris was struck by a lack of information for young people, educating them about the disease and looking after themselves leading to CoppaFeel.

The charity’s aim is to help raise the profile of a serious issue in a light-hearted way ‘empowering people to start healthy habits for life’ and its mission is to ensure all breast cancers are diagnosed early and correctly by:-

* Encouraging boob checks regularly from a young age.

* Educating on signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

* Empowering you to seek advice from a doctor if symptoms persist.

Since becoming involved in CoppaFeel! Beth, from Cleckheaton, is now a Boobette for the charity which involves giving talks to groups about breast cancer.

“I was 22 when I was diagnosed - that is ridiculously young - and I just want to educate girls because I know if I had gone to the doctor sooner it would not be secondary,” says Beth.

She says she also wants to raise awareness of the changes and symptoms which could signal breast cancer.

As well as focusing on education and awareness, Beth is also helping to raise funds for the charity - and Breast Cancer Now through cake sales and craft fairs with the help of friends and family.

Beth’s husband Mikey and his pal Danny Kirkpatrick are also doing their bit to raise funds for Coppafeel by taking on the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday (May 26).

“Mikey has always been a very active person. He is an outdoor instructor and he started running in 2016 doing 10ks and things like that,” explains Beth.

Beth says the idea for the pals to take on the Edinburgh marathon was raised at a BBQ with friends.

Since then she says Mikey and his pal have been on regular training runs in preparation for taking on the Edinburgh Marathon, and are hoping to top their fundraising target.

Starting in Potterow, in the grounds of one of the oldest Universities in the world, the Edinburgh Marathon is described as 'fast and flat' and believed to be the second largest marathon in the UK behind only London.

Landmarks and sights to look out for include the‘Gothic Rocket,’otherwise known as the Scott Monument, Arthurs Seat & Salisbury Crags, the Palace of Holyrood and the oldest golf course in the world.

“I am immensely proud of him and his friend,” says Beth.

To sponsor Mikey click here

For more information about CoppaFeel! or to get involved with the charity visit

To find out more about the Edinburgh Marathon visit