Harold Hill mum will ‘Brave the Shave’ to take control of her cancer

Patricia Ceesay

Patricia Ceesay - Credit: Archant

When a single mum-of-five caught pneumonia earlier this year she didn’t realise it would save her life.

Patricia Ceesay (née Akel), of Hilldene Avenue, Harold Hill, was recovering from the virus when she noticed a lump under her arm as she got out of the shower.

“I thought my glands were swollen from the pneumonia but I went to the doctors just in case,” the 55-year-old said.

“I was sent to the hospital for more exams and tests and a mammogram picked up a lump in my breast that the doctors couldn’t find with an exam.”

Just weeks later Patricia had 32 lumps removed from around her lymph nodes, only one of which was cancerous, one from her neck and one from her breast.

Today she has begun a gruelling course of chemotherapy which could see her lose her hair.

“I want to take control of the cancer and not let it make the decisions,” she said.

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“So I have decided to shave my hair off to raise money for Macmillan who have been brilliant to me since my diagnosis.

“These are hardworking real people at King George’s Hospital and Queen’s Hospital, where I’ve been treated, who have looked after me day and night, available for me 24/7.”

Patricia began her fundraising just over a week ago and has already more than doubled her original £600 target by raising £1,210 so far.

The chop won’t happen for another few weeks while she gets used to the impact chemotherapy will have on her body but she remains positive.

“I’ve had incredible support from my family and friends and the Soul Family, a music community which I have been part of for eight or nine years,” she explained.

“I was diagnosed on May 13, there’s no family history of it, I don’t smoke, but as soon as the doctors told me it was treatable I was fine.

“Now the surgery is just one of those operations I had to have, and the physiotherapy is helping me build my strength back up.

“I have a positive attitude and I am looking forward to next year once all the chemo and radiotherapy is done.”

If you would like to donate to Patricia’s Brave the Shave fund before the big day on August 22 visit her fundraising website at bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/patricia-ceesay