It’s been a decade since the first issue of Vita, Breast Cancer Care’s quarterly magazine, was published. We catch up with some of the people who’ve shared their stories with us over the years.
Summer 2006: a new website called Twitter is launched; Latin pop princess Shakira tops the singles chart with her truth-telling hips; and a new magazine called Vita makes its way out into the world for the first time. To celebrate this momentous event, we asked five people who’ve appeared on our pages: How has life been since we last spoke to you?
Vita magazine is packed with real life stories and healthy living features
10 years after diagnosis
Kayla Doohan appeared in the Spring 2007 issue.
Then: ‘I think I’ve grown up a lot this year. When I found out I had breast cancer, I was so angry and confused. I was so scared my boyfriend, Paul, had to drag me along to the doctor when I first found the lump. I didn’t think it should happen to someone my age.’
Now: ‘It has now been over 10 years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 20 years old. The only time I think about breast cancer is when I’m volunteering with Breast Cancer Care. My fiancé Paul and I now have a two-year-old daughter named Chloe.’
The first issue of Vita was published in Summer 2006
Continuing to embrace life
Amanda Humphry appeared in the Summer 2009 issue.
Then: ‘I was diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks after completing the London Marathon. I’ve definitely slowed down both physically and mentally since my treatment, but I’ve got no intention of stopping running. I’m hoping to run the London Marathon again in 2010.’
Now: ‘With every year marking a step further away from my cancer diagnosis and treatment, I continue to enjoy and embrace life. The last few years have seen a change of career, so more time for all the things I enjoy, plenty more running, and even being a model in The Show in 2015. I continue to support Breast Cancer Care and recommend their services.’
Over the years we’ve featured over 100 real life stories
Still challenging myself
Lorraine Walker appeared in the Summer 2009 issue.
Then: As a breast cancer nurse, Lorraine is experienced in supporting patients. But little did she expect that the women she has helped would give her the strength to take on some tough physical challenges. ‘The cycle I did in Vietnam was much harder than I expected. It was 110 degrees some days but there was no way I was giving up.’
Now: ‘Since then I have become a nurse consultant, which is something I had worked towards achieving. I’m still undertaking challenges for Breast Cancer Care. I did the New York Marathon several years ago, which was amazing. Last year I went to Costa Rica and have signed up for Trek Kerala to raise money in November.’
Our first male cover star, Doug, appeared in winter 2013
I’m still here!
Frances Dean appeared in the Spring 2013 issue.
Then: ‘Since my secondary breast cancer diagnosis, I’ve been trying to make every second count. As well as going on some fantastic holidays and trying new things like learning to ice skate, I’ve taken part in some wonderful events.’
Now: ‘I’m delighted to say that three years on I am still here. The feature was entitled “I want to make every day count”, and I can honestly say I am still living that mantra! I campaign lots (with Breast Cancer Care) about secondary breast cancer to raise awareness of the disease, and what living with it means to me and others.’
Each issue features a range of healthy living articles
First male cover star
Doug Harper appeared in the Winter 2013 issue.
Then: ‘I went to see my GP with a hard lump under my left nipple, after some prompting from my partner who noticed my nipple was inverted. It did not cross our minds that it could be breast cancer; neither of us knew that men could get it.’
Now: ‘I was honoured to be the first man on the cover of Vita, and it was good to get the breast cancer story from the male side out there in public. I continue to try to make men aware that they can get breast cancer, in between fighting off the effects I get from taking tamoxifen.’