Heysham mum’s bid to help others after beating cervical cancer

Jackie Baines.
Jackie Baines.
Share this article

A mum-of-two is bidding to raise funds and spread awareness after winning her fight against cervical cancer.

Jackie Baines was diagnosed in January at the age of just 33.

Jackie with mum Elizabeth Ledgerwood and daughter Chloe Baines, 4.

Jackie with mum Elizabeth Ledgerwood and daughter Chloe Baines, 4.

The devastating news meant she was forced to undergo a hysterectomy, and she has now been given the all clear.

The scare has led Jackie to throw herself into warning others about the disease as well as raising money for cancer research.

Jackie was diagnosed after going for her first ever smear test in December.

She said: “I received a phone call only four days later with the doctor informing me that my results showed abnormal cells and that I was put onto the cancer pathway.

Jackie Baines.

Jackie Baines.

“Immediately I was concerned. Later that day I had an appointment with my local doctor and was informed that my results were not cancer but if the abnormal cells weren’t treated it could develop into cancer.

“I felt such relief and so lucky that they had caught it in time.”

However, after being referred to go for a loop excision – to remove cells and tissue for examination and to treat some pre-cancerous changes of the cervix – Jackie was called to arrange an urgent appointment to discuss her treatment plan.

“Immediately I thought this is more serious, but everyone around me was telling me to stay positive and and not to think the worst,” she said.

Jackie with best friend Lauren.

Jackie with best friend Lauren.

“The appointment day came, I went with my husband Simon and I remember him trying to make me smile all the way to the hospital as he could see I was worried.

“I was diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 1b with lymph node involvement.

“I was heartbroken but somehow I knew this was the result I was going to get, so initially I prepared myself and my husband for it.”

Jackie and Simon, who live in Heysham, were reassured that the cancer was treatable and she was provisionally scheduled to go for a radical hysterectomy in March.

“I already had my family made with two beautiful girls aged eight and four and myself and my husband were confident we didn’t want any more children so having to have this treatment was subsequently satisfactory for us both,” Jackie said.

“The radical hysterectomy went very well; I am currently in five weeks of recovery and have recently received the great news of getting the all clear! My life has started again.” Jackie said she is now passionate about warning other women to undergo cervical screening. “The whole process has made me a different person for the better,” she said. “I am now passionate about raising awareness about what should be a completely preventable disease.

“What I often get from people when I share my story is why I only had my first cervical screening at 33 years-old. Honestly it’s because I had two children from the age of 25, and simply the answer is life was so busy and got in the way.

“I didn’t get any letter reminders to book a screening, it didn’t enter my mind at any time to ring up the doctors to book an appointment either.

“I thank the nurse I saw in November 2017 who said she wanted me to have a smear test before she gave me my next lot of contraceptive pills. The result could have been a lot different otherwise. I now have regular cervical screenings and I definitely know how important it is to have them. I am now passionate about spreading awareness, and supporting cancer research.”

Earlier this month Jackie and her best friend Lauren Williams organised a charity fun day at the Cumberland View in Morecambe.

“We had great support at the venue from the landlord Carl Pearson who went out of his way to support us to achieve what we did on the day,” Jackie said. “We raised £662 which we are very proud of considering we organised the event within two weeks.” The day was supported by many local businesses including Morecambe FC, Atkinsons, Jo and Cass, The Kings Arms, The Station, Wacky Warehouse, Room 12, Bookers, The Tanning Lounge, Look Fantastic, Abi’s Arrangements, No 1 Salon, Viva Interiors, Gala Bingo and NJ’s Barbers.

Jackie and Lauren aim to continue to support cancer research and have already booked places on the 5k Race for Life on July 5.