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Real Stories...

My name is Danielle

I decided to become a Fight Bladder Cancer Trustee as I understand how difficult the patient journey can be and feel it is important to try to make a difference to improve this in any way I can

Danielle was 25 years old and half-way through her pregnancy when she became concerned by recurrent urinary tract infections and abdominal pain.  “I had been prescribed several courses of antibiotics by my GP, but still my symptoms did not improve.  I asked her if there was a chance that something more sinister could be going on, but I was told I was too young for bladder cancer and that some pregnant women are just unlucky.”

“The ‘don’t go red, go to a doctor’ campaign, for me, is also about not being embarrassed to ask for further investigation if you feel that something is not right with your own body.  I don’t want anyone to feel silly or like they are being a nuisance; this was me and looking back, I should have asked more questions.”

Danielle’s cancer which turned out to be high-grade, was found by chance, during a pre-natal ultrasound scan just a few weeks later.  High-grade cancer cells grow quickly and can spread more easily, so she went on to have surgical intervention to remove the tumours at around 6 months pregnant. 

In November 2015, Danielle gave birth to a healthy baby girl named Zara who is now 6 years old, and she has been cancer free since.  “I am so grateful to my amazing medical team for expediting everything so quickly, but I do believe that if I wasn’t pregnant, then I would not be in the same position as I am today.” 

Danielle became involved with Fight Bladder Cancer after being introduced to Dorothy Markham, another one of our patient Trustees. Together they continued to take part in raising awareness with the help of consultant urology surgeon, Param Mariappan - who is one of the charity's medical advisors. Danielle, Dorothy & Param were invited to visit Parliament and successfully secured a motion within the Scottish Government in 2020 to improve outcomes and raise awareness of bladder cancer. Danielle is also vice chair of the charity's Scottish Steering Group and together with Dorothy, they run Scotland's first women's support group for bladder cancer patients.

Danielle's background is in healthcare administration and she works as a treatment advisor at Spire Hospital in Edinburgh where she has over 10 years' experience. She has also worked for the Scottish Ambulance Service as an emergency call handler. 

 

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We’ve tried to make the information on this site as accurate as possible. Whilst we have support from medical professionals to review the general medical content of this site, please remember that only your medical team can give you specific advice about your symptoms or illness. Fight Bladder Cancer is a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation in Scotland (SC051881), England and Wales (1198773), and was initially established as an unincorporated charity in England and Wales (1157763). It also operates in Northern Ireland.