By Lillian Geey

To Naga, Charlie, Louise, Carol, Sally and Dan

It’s almost five years since my last operation; the news the cancer had returned; a small nodule in a part of my lung. The haze of difficult conversations with my lovely husband, my beloved sons, the oncologist and the surgeon. The thought of further major surgery, more chemo and radiotherapy, my hair falling out again and the fear of what the future held. Was I going to die? I wasn’t ready to do that. It was happening again. That was 2015. 

But this is not about then. It’s about now. Five years on. More positive, resilient, purposeful and so grateful. 

It is sometimes the small things that keep things normal. For me, one of those routines was the BBC breakfast show. My lovely companions who helped brighten each day during my difficult cancer journey. To Louise, Naga, Carole, Sally, Charlie and Dan. Thank you. I am grateful for the support that you didn’t even know you gave. My gratitude goes full circle.

Throughout my treatment I kept on seeing thirteen. It was my late Mum’s lucky number. Her birthday date. It was as if she wanted me to know she was there. I was constantly showered by the number 13. I’d go to the theatre and sit on seat 13, driving in for treatment the number 13 bus would pass us on both sides of the road, twice, and the date I was operated on added up to 13 too. I could name hundreds of examples. I felt protected, cocooned and safe. Just this week I had another one of my routine scary scans and like clockwork the day before I got an email telling me I had reached my highest tennis world ranking (obviously and delightfully 13) and my latest scan date on 3.08.20 (equals 13) and so it continues and I love it.

To help my oncologist, the incredible Dr Jon Krell with his ground-breaking cancer research, we started a ((Thirteen.)) family cancer research fashion brand. As a sign of my gratitude to you all, I wanted to send you some merchandise from our online store The box should be with you shortly.

All proceeds go towards a groundbreaking genetic risk-and-prevention research programme for breast and ovarian cancer, carried out at Imperial College London by my life saver Dr Jon Krell. You can read more here.

My message is especially for BBC Breakfast women Louise, Naga, Carole and Sally and everyone reading this. Please read about the programme, get tested and encourage other women to do the same. It determines a woman’s individual risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer and in so doing, will hopefully help prevent some getting this awful disease.

To the men reading this, tell your wives, mother, daughters, sisters, aunts and nieces. It’s free and could save you and/or your loved one’s life. I only wish I’d had this opportunity. 

Knowledge is power, use it well. Thank you for reading this, please spread the word and enjoy wearing your ((Thirteen.)) merchandise. 

Published by Daniel Geey

I am an associate in Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP’s Competition and EU Regulatory Law Group. First and foremost, I am a football fan. After completing my law degree with a dissertation on the Bosman ruling, I embarked on a Masters Degree in Competition Law and European Football Broadcasting Rights.

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