Mum who couldn’t get GP appointment knew back pain was sign of deadly disease

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Alex Young, 51, from Tranmere had been in remission following a breast cancer diagnosis in 2014. However, when the mum-of-one eventually secured an appointment to determine the root of her pain last year, scans revealed the cancer had returned, this time in her liver and bones.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Alex’s daughter, Ellisha Branscombe, explained: “During covid, she knew the cancer had come back but, by the time it was diagnosed, it was terminal. Ellisha said was the pain that first made Alex realise it had come back.

“She used to work at Arrowe Park Hospital, and she could tell from the pain in her back when she came out of work that something wasn’t right. And then when she finally did get to the hospital and got it scanned, that was exactly where the cancer was. It turned out that, because of the bone cancer, she’d actually been walking around with three breaks in her spine.”

The lengthy wait for a hospital appointment made the diagnosis particularly tough to take for Ellisha. The 25-year-old, who is an only child, has been amazed by her mum’s determination to stay positive despite the heartbreaking news.

She said: “My mum and I have always been close. She’s been there for me through everything and has always been so strong. She’s an amazing woman and everything I aspire to be.

“She’s always done everything she can to ensure I have the best possible start in life. She’s been my rock. She’s my best friend and I will be lost without her by my side.”

Alex will have to spend the rest of her life having chemotherapy, which has prompted Ellisha to start raising funds for The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity in Bebington. The cause is “very close” to the family’s heart, and Ellisha embarked on her first fundraising challenge on Wednesday, when she climbed Snowdon with her two best friends, Brady and Sophie.

She told the ECHO: ” It was really hard but we managed to do it. We’ve got some physical problems of our own but we decided to choose the harder route.

“Mum’s really proud. She’s just an incredibly strong woman. Looking at her, you wouldn’t know there’s anything wrong with her. She just gets on with it every day. She’s amazing.”

Speaking about future fundraising plans, Ellisha said: “We’re going to give ourselves a bit of time to recover from yesterday, but we are thinking of doing the Three Peaks in the future as well and all the money will go to Clatterbridge.”

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