Jo was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2017. She is a full time foster carer and works as a senior manager at a Yorkshire children’s home, where she cares for children with learning difficulties.

“Following my initial diagnosis, my family were told to prepare for the worst and whilst in the consultation room, my daughter broke down over the prospect of losing her mum. As I discussed things in greater detail with the consultant, I must say I felt like I was having an encounter with the grim reaper. Thankfully my surgeon was able to completely remove the tumour, avoiding the need for a colostomy bag. I’ve since been on a course of chemotherapy, which should hopefully help kill off the remaining cancer completely” she said.

“It hasn’t all been plain sailing and despite the success of my initial surgery, further concerns were raised in relation to the lymph nodes found in my bowel. Additional surgery was undertaken to remove 22 of these lymph nodes, eight of which were found to be cancerous."

Since this point, as Jo’s chemotherapy treatment has progressed, there are positive signs of the remaining cancer shrinking.

Jo, who lives in the Carrgate area of Wakefield, has maintained a very positive outlook thought her treatment. “I’m so grateful for the tremendous support I’ve received from my husband Gary, my three daughters, and my friends. In times like this you really find out who your friends are!! I’m hugely grateful to all the medical professionals who have supported me and I cannot fault the service I’ve received, they’ve all been amazing."

Jo, pictured left, enjoying a cuppa with Fraser Corry, Panel Co-ordinator.

In support of their mum, Jo’s children have taken up the mantle and been hard at work raising money for Cancer Research UK. One of Jo's daughters recently ran in the Race for Life and managed to raise over £1000 for the charity. Jo confirmed: “The children have really grown up since my diagnosis. I’ve been so proud of the support they’ve shown”.

By joining the Community Panel, Jo is would like to share her story and positive experiences to help others and improve care for cancer patients.

She is currently awaiting the final results following her last course of chemotherapy. In addition to joining the panel, she is currently a volunteer for the ‘Genome Project’, which aims to develop new medicines and treatments to fight cancer and other rare diseases.She has continued with fostering throughout her treatment and his hoping to return to work soon.