Ciara's Story

Whilst pregnant with my daughter I was offered genetic testing for the BRCA1 cancergene due to a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. I was 26 at the time. A few weeks after having my daughter my results came back positive. I was advised I had an 80% chance of developing breast cancer. I was given two choices, either opt for screening which would start when I was 30 or else opt for a prophylactic mastectomy. Due to having 2 young children I opted for the mastectomy, I felt it would be selfish of me not to act on the information I had. I had an MRI scan which came back clear a few months before my surgery. I went ahead with the surgery and was recovering well. When I returned to the hospital 2 weeks later to have my stitches removed I was told I had a grade 3 breast cancer that had not shown up on the MRI scan.

Several operations followed, including lymph node removal, and several reconstruction surgeries. I then began chemotherapy which I can only describe as horrific, I was extremely sick but finally got through it.  As the BRCA1 affects both breast and ovarian cancer i was checked regularly for any sinister signs from my ovaries. Unfortunately before Christmas my ca125 levels (markers for ovarian cancer) shot up a lot so in January I was taken in for a radical hysterectomy. Fortunately those results came back clear.
During my chemotherapy I found it extremely difficult to find attractive comfortable headwear, I decided to start making my own. The feedback has been amazing, currently many cancer charities are stocking them. Many people in Northern Ireland are now wearing my scarves whilst having treatment.
I would like to think my cancer story is turning a big negative into a huge positive- my story certainly puts a different twist on the normal stories that we read about now.
You can view Ciara’s headwear and scarves at