Brave Barlborough mum tells of breast cancer hell

Dawn with her husband Kam and their seven-year-old daughter Honor. Picture submitted.
Dawn with her husband Kam and their seven-year-old daughter Honor. Picture submitted.

An inspirational mum who faces an uncertain future after battling breast cancer is helping to support other victims of the disease.

Dawn Barker, 43, of Barlborough, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in October 2012 after finding a lump.

In the space of just one year, brave Dawn underwent a mastectomy and lymph node removal as well as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove her ovaries.

With the strong likelihood that her cancer will return, Dawn had a second mastectomy earlier this year to increase her chances of living longer with the disease and prevent it from returning to the same areas.

She will have to continue taking oral chemotherapy medication while having regular brain, bone and organ scans to monitor any spreading of the cancer.

Despite her ordeal, Dawn is looking positively to the future and fundraising for Weston Park Hospital, where she received most of her treatment.

She is currently organising a fundraising ball and plans to take part in the charity’s Big Jump skydive.

Dawn said: “To say the bottom fell out of my world when I was diagnosed is an understatement and I will be eternally grateful to the wonderful staff who have been a constant reassurance to me throughout this rocky rollercoaster ride.”

She added: “My family have been absolutely incredibly since I was diagnosed. Although they are hurting too, they have shown nothing but strength since day one – I’m incredibly lucky to have such a strong support unit around me.

“It is scary to think what the future could hold and I can’t say that it doesn’t worry me but my plan is to live each day as it comes and to spend quality time with the people I love – cancer can wait.”

To support life-changing cancer research at Weston Park Hospital, visit