Qualified Teacher Gives Talks To Pupils About Screening And Symptoms
A courageous mum battling incurable cervical cancer is heading into schools to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease and the importance of screening.
Carrie-Anne Taitt, was advised by a midwife to have a smear test after a nodule was found on her cervix following the birth of her second child Millie in February 2017.
While the 30-year-old then received a letter outlining that the results were negative, Carrie-Anne, of Barnwood, Gloucester, went on to experience months of bleeding. After concerns were then raised during an examination, she was referred to a specialist. In May 2018, it was confirmed that she had cancer.
Despite intensive treatment Carrie-Anne, who qualified as a primary school teacher during her treatment, was informed in January 2019 that the cancer was incurable.
Now, she is sharing her story in secondary schools in the area in the hope that it will encourage younger people to not overlook either the importance of regular screening or the warning signs related to the condition.
Carrie-Anne recently instructed legal experts at Irwin Mitchell to examine the care and support she has received in relation to her cancer.
Expert Opinion“Carrie-Anne’s story is sadly yet another devastating reminder of how cancer can affect people of all ages.
“She has a number of concerns about the care she received which we are investigating. Despite this and the uncertain future she faces, Carrie-Anne continues to show tremendous courage in her battle against the disease and her determination to help others is hugely inspirational.
“Through our work we often see the devastating impact that cervical cancer can have. It is vital that women are aware of the symptoms and take part in the screening programme.
“We are determined to support Carrie-Anne in any way we can and believe that her efforts will make a difference to many young lives. She is doing some truly amazing work.” Chris Hurlston - Senior Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in helping families affected by cancer
Carrie-Anne is married to Michael, 33, a manager of a gym. The couple also have a six-year-old son Leo.
Carrie-Anne was six weeks away from completing her training to become a primary school teacher when she first received her cancer diagnosis. She managed to qualify despite gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.
So far, she has spoken to sixth form students at Chosen Hill School in Gloucester. She has been invited to speak to pupils at Gloucester Academy, where Carrie-Anne used to work, as part of Cervical Cancer Prevention Week.
Carrie-Anne said: “My diagnosis came at a time when I couldn’t wait to get started in teaching. Nothing can prepare for when you are told you have cancer. It turned our lives upside down.
“My diagnosis and gruelling treatment regime has had a massive impact on us as a family. I spent both my 29th and 30th birthdays in hospital and had to miss Leo’s birthday last year for the same reason.
“I spent nearly seven weeks in hospital last year and I didn’t get to see my children during this time which was heart-breaking. I slept an awful lot during this time and feel that I have missed out on important milestones in my children’s lives.
“I know Millie is too young to understand what is happening, but Leo knows I’m unwell and he does get anxious when I’m in hospital.”
She added: “Despite my cancer, I’m determined to make a difference in any way that I can and doing these talks has given me a real sense of purpose.
“It has been nice to call on my training with these talks and I hope they are providing some real food for thought for young people on the issue of cervical cancer.
“The importance of this issue cannot be overstated and I want to do everything I can to spread the message when it comes to both screening and the symptoms.”
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 20-26 January. For more information visit www.jostrust.org.uk/