Appeal Ambassadors


Jane Rice, Breast Cancer Survivor

I live in Bedworth with my husband Steve and my two wonderful girls Hannah and Megan.

In November 2012, when I was 45, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer which is a rare form of breast cancer – I hadn’t noticed a lump (there wasn’t one), I hadn't attended a breast screening appointment, instead it was picked up when I was not well at University Hospital where I work with a pain in my armpit. I went to A&E where they took my bloods and decided to keep me in over night. In the morning Mr Hamed Khan, a breast surgeon, came to see me on the ward and asked me to go to breast clinic to be examined. I was sent for a mammogram and a biopsy in the breast screening unit and was given a appointment to go back to see Mr Khan a week later, when we discussed what was found and the treatment I needed.

This meant I started chemotherapy on 3rd December 2012 until April 2013; I then proceeded to have a double mastectomy in May 2013. At the end of July I started my radiotherapy for 3 weeks to remove any cancer cells that may have remained. I lost my hair during the treatment but it grew back and looked quite decent when I came back to work as a radiology assistant in January 2014.

I'm on the road to recovery and see my Oncologist Professor Poole and Surgeon Mr Khan every 3 months. Through out my illness, the team who looked after me, including the wonderful nurses and support workers in the Arden Cancer Centre, have been kind and caring and nothing has been too much trouble to them.

My breast cancer affected the whole family. Steve is at my side through out, he has been my rock, and from the start the four of us agreed we would face what ever came together and not let it beat us. There were times I cried but humour has helped – I hate beards but Steve decided to grow one as I approached my final treatment and had lost my hair! He told me that when the cancer was beat, a week after the last chemo, he would shave it off. When the girls got wind of this they persuaded him to dye it bright pink and raise money to help the services who help me. We couldn’t believe it as in just 3 months he raised £4,400!

I’m just one of the 55,000 women in the UK who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Whilst more people are being diagnosed with breast cancer the good news is that more people are surviving because of early detection and treatment. This is why the Breast Cancer Unit Appeal is really important and I’m proud to be an Ambassador.


Roisin McCourt, Free Radio Breakfast Presenter

I am the co-presenter on the JD Show on Free Radio.  

Breast cancer charities have always been close to my heart as my grandmother had the illness and then two years ago my mum got diagnosed which made it all become very real.

She has had brilliant treatment and care at University Hospital, Coventry and without that I don't think she'd still be here. For that reason me and my sister Sinead  have recently become even more passionate about the cause! Importantly we help where ever and however we can to ensure women are screened and treated so that they can live a normal life.

That's why I'm pleased to be an Ambassador of the Charity and hope to raise lots of money so the unit is able to screen more local women.


Sameena Ali Khan, ITV News Presenter

For the past ten years I've presented ITV News Central every evening to let you know about the local news, issues and events going on in our region.

Health is for me one of the biggest issues. It affects us all and if we're healthy we can cope with everything else!

Breast Cancer is the most common cancers amongst women in the UK. Sadly 1,000 women die from it every month. It's a staggering figure and highlights just how serious this disease is. Whatever our age, we need to be aware of changes in our breasts and go to the doctors if we notice something unusual. We also need to catch this disease before it has a chance to develop and the best way to do that is to attend breast screening appointments. 

Screening appointments are offered to women aged 47-73 years but the take up is poor. There could be several reasons for this, busy lives, a lack of time and maybe even fear of what the check may find but early diagnosis is vital. And it saves lives.
We know Black and Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer have poorer survival rates than white women. This could be due to delays in diagnosis through late presentation of symptoms or a lower uptake of screening appointments*.

So how can we change this? Well a new unit will allow local women to be better supported by the Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire Breast Screening Service. We'll be able to see more women and offer them appointments in the evening and at the weekend. We'll also be able to follow up missed appointments. We want more Black and Asian women to attend screening appointments and we'll make that possible by the unit being close to where many live so that they feel comfortable and can bring a friend or relative with them if they choose. We have to make the whole process much easier for all women and that is why I'm delighted to be an Ambassador for the Breast Cancer Unit Appeal.

As women we deal with so much in life, and we cope with whatever is thrown at us so if something can make our life that little bit easier then it can only be a good thing. I'm supporting the appeal because together we can help make it easier for local women to have the best opportunities for early diagnosis and treatment.


Emma Jesson, Weather Presenter

... you may recognise me as a familiar face of ITV Weather – formerly of GMTV, I now present for several ITV regions, mainly the Midlands and North of England, as well as hosting numerous corporate award ceremonies up and down the country.

I am privileged to have been asked to be an Ambassador for Coventry and Warwickshire’s Breast Cancer Unit Appeal. My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, and cared for by breast surgeon, Mr Martin Lee, at University Hospital - so I have a personal reason for offering my support. 

Early detection is really important for beating cancer. The new breast cancer unit means that the Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire Breast Screening Service will reach more local women. It will also have the latest technology to help to clearly identify cancer, so women can receive their treatment quickly.

We always tell people that Mr Lee saved my mum’s life. I am so thankful for his and the team's skills, for their caring and prompt action.

With your support, more families, like mine, will be looking ahead to spending wonderful times together after someone they love has had breast cancer.

The diagnosis may be the beginning of a long journey, but with prompt, appropriate and accessible treatment there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you x                                             @EmmaJessonTV