A mom whose daughter died of bowel most cancers at simply 24 years previous has warned you might be by no means too younger to develop the sickness.
Tess Grace’s daughter Amelia, referred to as Millie, handed away in October 2021 after being recognized with bowel most cancers simply 10 months earlier.
Since her daughter’s demise, Tess, 50, from Liverpool however dwelling in Cornwall, is campaigning to verify younger individuals perceive the signs – and desires to vary ‘outdated’ assumptions that solely older individuals develop the sickness.
She informed FEMAIL: ‘It is a sweeping assertion to say ‘you are too younger’ to have bowel most cancers.’
Millie Grace, pictured together with her mom Tess, died in October 2021, simply 10 months after being recognized with bowel most cancers. Her mom desires individuals to know you might be ‘by no means too younger’ to be recognized with the illness
Millie was recognized with stage 4 bowel most cancers in December 2020 after a routine operation revealed a tumour in her colon. Tess mentioned her daughter saved her spirits up in hospital, pictured
All through remedy, Millie made positive her eyebrows, lips and nails had been performed. Tess mentioned: ‘She was all in regards to the brows and the lips and the nails, however on the identical time she wasn’t useless. She was simply Millie’
She added her daughter had been experiencing signs like blood in her stools for about three years earlier than she was lastly recognized.
Tess claimed that regardless of her daughter’s repeated journeys to the GP, nobody ever assumed she had bowel most cancers as a result of she was ‘too younger’.
Describing her daughter as ‘sassy’, Tess mentioned Millie was an enormous loss to her family members.
‘She was feisty. She was queen of the eye-roll,’ Tess mentioned.
‘She was lovely too. She was all in regards to the brows and the lips and the nails, however on the identical time she wasn’t useless. She was simply Millie.
‘She was so caring, she all the time appreciated to root for the underdog.’
Working in a forex trade in Liverpool and dwelling together with her boyfriend Jay, Millie spent a lot of the Covid lockdown ready for an operation to take away cysts on her ovaries which had been delayed from January 2020.
Tess described her youngest daughter Millie as ‘queen of the attention roll’ and ‘feisty’. She added: ‘She was so caring, she all the time appreciated to root for the underdog.’
Millie was working for a forex trade firm in her hometown of Liverpool when she turned unwell
Whereas she waited for the surgical procedure, Millie began to expertise ache in her stomach. Her abdomen began to swell and she or he may really feel lumps, and she or he misplaced her urge for food.
Regardless of extra journeys to the GP, Tess claimed checks had been carried out on Millie and she or he was as a consequence of have a colonoscopy, however no indicators of most cancers had been instantly picked up.
However when Millie was lastly placed on the working desk in December 2021 for her unrelated operation, the surgeon took a biopsy of one thing that they had present in her colon.
A number of days later, outcomes from the biopsy confirmed Millie had bowel most cancers and medical doctors had been finishing up additional checks.
Tess travelled from Cornwall again as much as Liverpool and took Millie to an appointment together with her guide two days earlier than Christmas. There, they had been informed the most cancers was stage 4 and had unfold round her physique.
‘In the identical breath the guide mentioned, “it is uncommon in somebody your age”. Millie requested if she may die and was informed, “it is a risk, sure”.
Millie (pictured as a young person), was informed for years by medical doctors she was ‘too younger’ to have bowel most cancers, her mom Tess claimed
Millie (pictured sporting her wig after shedding her hair) remained optimistic all through her remedy
Millie had round seven months of chemotherapy, whereas Tess shuttled backwards and forwards from Liverpool for her appointments
All through most cancers remedy, Millie, from Liverpool, by no means misplaced her ‘sassy’ combating spirit, her mom Tess mentioned
‘She was simply 23 and had her entire life forward of her. Millie’s largest issues had been attending to work, ensuring she may exit on the weekend and getting her nails performed.’
As medical doctors scheduled Millie for chemotherapy they found the principle tumour in her colon measured 18cm.
Over the following few months Millie went by gruelling chemotherapy and suffered terrible negative effects – however Tess mentioned she by no means misplaced her combating spirit.
‘The chemo she was having may make your throat spasm, so you may’t eat or drink something chilly,’ Tess defined.
‘I’d say, “Millie, wrap your scarf round you” however she wasn’t having any of it.
‘She actually went by it however on the identical time she had an perspective of, “It is not beating me”.’
Millie additionally made positive she was trying her greatest all through her remedy, together with her eyebrows primed and a recent set of nails for her chemo appointments.
Tess mentioned when Millie’s hair fell out she even made positive the wig she had was high quality.
‘She received a wig that was blonde like she was, nevertheless it had a yellow tinge. So Millie despatched it again and requested for it to be balayage,’ Tess laughed.
After a number of cycles of chemotherapy, checks in the summertime of 2021 revealed Millie’s tumours had been shrinking and she or he took a break over the summer season earlier than one other cycle started in October.
To rejoice, Tess took Millie and her eldest daughter Hope, 27, out in town. However only a few weeks later, Millie began to really feel ache in her abdomen once more.
Tess recalled: ‘[Millie] simply mentioned, “I am wonderful, I’ve received most cancers. I am presupposed to be in ache”.’
In September 2021 Tess, who had been travelling backwards and forwards from Cornwall since her daughter’s prognosis, took Millie on a procuring journey to Manchester.
By now her daughter was so weak she had to make use of a wheelchair.
‘She was mortified. She simply wished her independence,’ Tess recalled.
Throughout the journey the mom realised how dangerous her daughter’s ache was and a later scan revealed a few of her tumours had been re-growing.
Tess recalled: ‘They mentioned by way of Millie’s most cancers journey, it wasn’t constructive. The mets had grown greater and extra had grown, however Millie did not appear to take any of it on board.’
Millie was moved into the Marie Curie hospice in Woolton, Liverpool, to handle her ache. Initially, the plan was nonetheless to proceed together with her chemotherapy.
After Millie misplaced her hair from chemotherapy she had a wig made as much as put on – however Tess mentioned she despatched it again and requested for it to be balyage
However as the times handed within the hospice, Millie turned weaker and extra exhausted and it turned clear she wasn’t effectively sufficient to go to hospital for chemotherapy.
Tess recalled: ‘A nurse spoke to me and mentioned Millie was actually unwell. I requested, “are you making an attempt to inform me she’s on the finish of her life?” and she or he mentioned issues actually weren’t good.
‘I mentioned I did not need Millie to know she was going to die. She was exhausted and she or he’d been in ache for weeks.’
Regardless of being within the ultimate days of her life Millie insisted on mustering the power to exit and about in her wheelchair, even treating her mom to lunch.
Millie handed away October 20, 2021, aged 24. After her demise, a heartbroken Tess made positive her funeral was the ship off her daughter would have wished.
Tess mentioned Millie beloved her job (and the uniform) and wished to maneuver as much as a job as a supervisor
After a ceremony opened as much as tons of of individuals, Tess held Millie’s wake in a Revolution bar in Liverpool – one in all her daughter’s favorite locations to spend the evening dancing away.
On what would have been Millie’s twenty fourth birthday this yr the household returned to the identical bar to rejoice in her reminiscence. By then Tess had raised £7,000 in Millie’s title.
In addition to elevating cash for Bowel Most cancers UK, Tess is campaigning to boost consciousness of the signs of bowel most cancers in younger individuals and desires to unfold the message that you’re by no means too younger to develop the illness.
‘When Millie was having remedy we typically needed to go to A&E,’ Tess recalled. ‘One time I bear in mind a health care provider crying when she noticed her within the wheelchair. She mentioned Millie was “too younger” to have bowel most cancers.’
After the demise of Dame Deborah James at simply 40 years previous following a battle with bowel most cancers Tess thinks attitudes are altering – however the thought of the illness creating in very younger individuals continues to be alien to most.
‘After they discuss younger individuals, they point out adults beneath 50, and that is necessary however I am speaking about individuals of their twenties.
‘Millie was initially of her life.’
Tess has launched a marketing campaign focused at individuals aged between 17 and 25 referred to as #Stopitb4itstarts – with an goal to go to universities and faculties and discuss to college students about Millie.
Since she started telling Millie’s story on the @stopitb4itstarts Instagram web page, Tess mentioned she has been contacted by plenty of younger individuals with related signs Millie had.
After Millie completed most cancers remedy, her mom Tess took her for an evening in town to rejoice
Tess mentioned her daughter usually went to chemotherapy periods in a full face of make-up and was decided to battle the illness
She mentioned: ‘You may be match, wholesome, younger and going to work however you probably have issues, go to the physician and demand on being examined for it.’
Dr Lisa Wilde, director of analysis and exterior affairs at Bowel Most cancers UK, mentioned: ‘Bowel most cancers is the UK’s second largest most cancers killer, nonetheless it should not be as a result of it’s treatable and curable particularly if recognized early. Because the extraordinarily unhappy case of Millie highlights, it might have an effect on individuals of all ages.
‘Yearly greater than 2,600 individuals beneath 50 are recognized with bowel most cancers within the UK and that quantity is growing. Consciousness that this can be a illness that youthful individuals may be recognized with is low amongst most of the people and healthcare professionals.
‘We urge everybody, it doesn’t matter what their age, to familiarise themselves with the signs and make contact with their GP as quickly as doable if they’ve bleeding from their backside, blood of their poo, a persistent and unexplained change in bowel behavior, unexplained weight reduction, excessive tiredness for no apparent motive, and a ache or lump of their tummy, to make sure the very best likelihood of an early prognosis and survival.’