Northern Ireland cancer survivor in tribute to mum with charity walk appeal
A cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease has told how she hid her illness from her two young daughters.
Vicki Ewart, from Ballyward, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014 - just eight months after her mum passed away from ovarian cancer.
The Co Down woman has spoken out to encourage families across Northern Ireland to sign up to Action Cancer's Mother's Day Walk in Hillsborough Forest Park on Saturday, March 25.
Vicki said the memory of her mum helped her through the dark days when she learned she had breast cancer.
"The last Mother's Day card I bought my mum described a mother as being: 'The amazing person who can make everything feel better just by being there'," she said.
"This sums my mum up perfectly. She was a fighter and this 'emotion' she had luckily passed on to me. As a mum of two young girls I needed this emotion to get me through what lay ahead in 2014."
She added: "I lay awake, and remember that I was just 40; it wasn't my time. I know I missed my mum, but I wasn't ready to join her. My girls and husband needed me, I needed to fight and make my mum proud."
Vicki concealed her illness so that her daughters wouldn't fear for her health.
"We decided not to tell the girls about my cancer diagnosis, as we had just lost my mum and didn't want to worry them. The girls were aged eight and five at the time," she revealed.
"They thought mummy had had an arm operation and that the medicine made my hair fall out. My girls and husband were my reason to fight."
The Ewart family is heavily involved with Action Cancer and Vicki volunteers as a peer mentor, helping others going through their own individual cancer journeys.
You can register for the Mother's Day Walk, supported by Centra, to help Action Cancer help more families affected by cancer across Northern Ireland.
Registration is £10 per adult and £5 per child. Minimum sponsorship is £80 per family, which will pay for one breast screening for a local woman.
- Register online at http://www.actioncancer.org/Get-Involved/Events/Events/MDW call Steph on 028 9080 3349 or email firstname.lastname@example.org