- A 31-year-old mother died of breast cancer just weeks after her wedding
- Doctors considered him ‘too young’ to be diagnosed with the disease last year
- Her husband urges other women to get tested regardless of their age
A mother told by doctors that she was ‘too young’ died of breast cancer just weeks after her marriage.
Sinead Richards, 31, was the picture of happiness when she tied the knot with her partner of 12 years, Liam McDonagh, on August 19.
But a year after tests revealed she had stage four breast cancer, which had spread to her body, 22 days later, the mother-in-law passed away on September 10.
The pastor from Stanningley, West Yorkshire, found a lump in her breast in late 2019, then aged 29, and went to see her GP in early 2020. It is not clear whether this was before or after the first lockdown.
But her husband claimed that doctors said it could not be breast cancer because she was ‘too young’. Doctors reportedly conducted tests but his illness was not detected.
Mr McDonagh, 33, encouraged her to return at an indeterminate time, and tests showed she had stage four incurable breast cancer.
Only one in four women live more than five years after being diagnosed with the disease, which means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain.
Sinead Richards. Jo died of stage four breast cancer on September 10, pictured with her husband Liam McDonagh and their daughters Paige, seven, and Georgie, 10, on her wedding day
Ms Richard’s heartbroken husband Liam McDonagh claims doctors said she was ‘too young’ to have breast cancer after discovering a lump
Ms Richards initially put off going to doctors for two months because she didn’t think it would be cancer.
But after being diagnosed, she faced an 18-month battle against cancer and spent the last weeks of her life in a hospital in Leeds.
Ms Richards died on 10 September, less than a month after their marriage, leaving behind her husband and their two daughters, seven-year-old Peggy and 10-year-old Georgie.
The funeral will be held in Leeds on 7 October.
Now Mr. McDonagh, a builder, has urged other women, regardless of their age, to get tested.
Talking about his wedding day, he said: ‘Everyone was smiling throughout the day. She was very unwell but it really showed how she was, she struggled to get there and put on a brave face.
‘It was on point. She herself went there and that was all she wanted.
‘It has had a huge impact on our lives. She was amazing, she was such a lovely person.
‘She never met anyone, had a bad word to say about her, everyone loved her. It’s just so sad.
Ms Richards initially stopped going to doctors for two months because she didn’t think it would be cancer
Mr McDonagh said: ‘If her story also helps one more person to get investigated, it will all be worthwhile. She was the most amazing person’
‘When we were in the hospital, people would give us a second look because they couldn’t believe how small we were. She was only 31 years old, we couldn’t believe it.’
He continued: ‘If her story helps one more person to get investigated, it will all be worthwhile. She was the most wonderful person.
‘I just want to show that this can happen to anyone and urge people to get investigated if they ever notice anything.’
A fundraiser has been started gofundme To support the family and help with the cost of the funeral which will take place on 7 October.
A day at a local pub and a canal ride from Leeds to Liverpool have been organized in a fundraising campaign – and have raised over £3,000 so far.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and almost all women live five years or more (98 per cent) if it is caught in stage one.
But if it is not caught early and develops into stage four, only 25 percent will survive more than five years after diagnosis.
Once it reaches stage four, the cancer is no longer curable, but can be controlled with treatments, such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
How to check your breasts – and what to keep in mind
Breast Surgeon and Breast Cancer Survivor by Liz O’Riordan
The most obvious sign may be a lump, either in the breast or upward in the armpit. It may be visible, or may only become apparent when you feel it. But other symptoms include a skin dimple on the breast, an inverted nipple or bleeding from the nipple. Red rashes can also be a sign of an underlying problem.
how to check The best time is during your period when the balance of hormones means the tissue will naturally be less lumpy and sore. If you’re post-menopausal, any time is fine, although most women find that checking on the first of the month is a good way to remember.
- Stand topless in front of the mirror and check your breasts first and then from both sides. If your breasts are large, lift them up and examine the skin underneath.
- Raise your hands above your head and look again – do they look different?
- Place your hands on your hips and tense your chest muscles and check again.
- Lie down to feel your breasts and, using the flat surface of your fingers, push the breast tissue down. Feel your entire breast in a circular motion from your cleavage to your armpit.
- Also check the armpits, pushing the skin and fat against your rib.
- If you find a lump anywhere, check the opposite breast or armpit – chances are it will feel the same way.
- If you’re concerned about something you’ve found, check again in two weeks. If it’s still there, get it checked out by a doctor.