The news of a pregnancy or a recent birth is an exciting time for all prospective and existing parents. It can, however, be cruelly interrupted by the news of a cancer diagnosis and the worry that this brings to both you and your wider family.
Mummy’s Star has been set up specifically to offer support if you find yourself in this situation and we hope that by providing comprehensive information and links in this section, it will help you to get the support you need, access services that are available to you but most importantly know that you are not alone when you are going through this.
The information contained here is reviewed on an ongoing basis and will also be added to as new information becomes known about cancer in pregnancy. Likewise, as we receive more enquiries, we will add to the FAQs section in order to be able to try and answer as many of your questions in one place as possible.
Please contact us here and we can discuss more specifically how we can support you and your family.
Along with friends and family, Pete founded Mummy’s Star in 2013 in memory of his wife Mair. Pete was with Mair for 10 years, marrying in October 2007 and then having two children; Martha and Merlin.
Prior to establishing Mummy’s Star, Pete worked in communities, housing and local government for 10 years in some of Manchester’s most deprived communities. He oversaw many large employment, cultural and environmental projects which brought about lasting change to the areas, strengthened communities and secured over £7 million in funding.
Pete is responsible for the day to day running of the charity including its continued growth, visiting the mums we support, presenting about the work of Mummy’s Star and talking to hospitals and other medical organisations alike to help increase awareness of cancer in pregnancy. He is also a trustee of the charity.
Pete is an avid runner, walker and rugby fan.
Support Worker North and Scotland
Tracey joined the Mummy’s Star team in December 2015. Her background includes 20 years as a Registered General Nurse working in Women’s Health, volunteering at a local Women’s Refuge, Adult learner support assistant in Literacy, library assistant and most recently Tracey also worked with Breast Cancer Care delivering Moving Forward courses.
In 2012 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and following completion of treatment-mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy Tracey began volunteering for Breast Cancer Care. She runs a local breast cancer support group, which offers peer to peer support, which was set up in September 2014. She is also part of a steering group as a patient representative for her local Macmillan Unit, Tracey has always had an interest in healthcare and education, along with a desire to raise awareness of the psychological aspects of illness and its associated treatment and support. Tracey said that working for Mummy’s Star is a fantastic opportunity with many facets to the role, to which she is delighted to be able to contribute.
In her spare time Tracey likes to read crime novels and is involved in Dragon Boat Paddling.
Support Worker South and Wales
Rebecca has a degree counselling, and is an experienced counsellor and more recently, author. Rebecca has had cancer three times. The first diagnosis was in 2003, 30 weeks into her second pregnancy where she was advised to start chemotherapy straight away. She had ten months of treatment followed by hormone therapy. She found cancer a difficult and life changing experience, both physically and emotionally, and retrained as a counsellor. She gained a 1st Class Honours degree in 2012 and has worked a counsellor since then. She has volunteered at cancer support charities both locally and nationally for many years. She is currently a media volunteer at Breast Cancer Care and is part of their Digital Voices Team. She has a particular interest in the emotional impact of cancer, and how this can be understood and supported, and has written extensively about this which culminated in the recent publication of her book The Two Faces Of Cancer.
Rebecca lives in West Sussex and in her spare time she loves travelling as well as walking and reading. Rebecca brings a wealth of both personal and professional experience of cancer to her role at Mummy’s Star.
Sarah joined the team in April 2020 and brings with her an extensive background in fundraising and communications from a hospital based charity, in addition to her own freelance experience.
Sarah worked in the NHS for over 15 years and firmly believes that when someone is ill, the little things really can make a big difference to their wellbeing. She is passionate about making sure that everyone has access to the best possible support and she understands how much of an impact a positive experience can have on someone’s recovery. She is keen to raise awareness about cancer in and around pregnancy and the unique work that Mummy’s Star does.
With two active young boys at home, Sarah loves all things outdoors!
Louise joined the Mummy’s Star team in February 2015. Her background includes a degree in Contemporary Performing Arts and a Master’s Degree in facilitating inclusive education. Louise went on to run her own Arts Cafe for 5 years, gaining experience and knowledge in employment, business, finance, management and events.
In 2012, while pregnant with their 2nd child, her husband was diagnosed with advanced metastatic Bowel Cancer and she decided stop working to look after her family. He was given a terminal prognosis in 2013 and they became active fundraisers and advocates of cancer charities. Working for Mummy’s Star was just what she had been looking for! After her husband sadly died in July 2017, Louise continues to raise awareness in his memory and use her experiences to help others where she can.
Louise enjoys family time, baking, ballet, yoga, and sings at her local church.
LIZ HATHER BA(HONS)
Design & Digital Communications
Liz joined the Mummy’s Star team in April 2017. She has over 26 years industry experience
in providing professional design and digital communications support to charities and businesses, along with a first class degree in Graphic Design and Communication. Liz's experience also includes 20 years in running her own freelance business and 18 years experience in communicating medical specialties to healthcare professionals amongst a variety of other sectors, services and products. She has extensive experience in design, for both in print and digital medias, through to project management, production and launch of events and campaigns. Liz has won awards for her design work. She has also mentored and trained up and coming designers, supporting them into the next stage of their design career. Liz’s passion lies in being able to make a difference.
Liz is also currently studying for a masters in developmental psychology.
Liz loves psychology and life stories. She adores anything design, architecture, music, reading, being outdoors, the seaside, islands, travel and above all family time!
DR RICHARD SIMCOCK
Dr Richard Simcock has been a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Sussex Cancer Centre since 2004. Previously he had worked at the Sydney Cancer Centre, Australia and before that had completed five years of postgraduate specialist training in Oncology in London and the South East including Guys and St.Thomas’, Charing Cross and Mount Vernon Hospitals. He graduated from Guys and St.Thomas’ hospital in 1993.
Working closely with the surgical and nursing team Dr Simcock sees and treats patients diagnosed with early or advanced breast cancer. He advises on the role of radiation, chemotherapy, hormone, biological, and experimental treatments.
Advisor (Breast CNS)
Vanessa has been a Macmillan Breast Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for 18 years.
She has always been passionate about the psychosocial elements of care being integral
to the CNS role.
On 18th June 2012 she met Mair and Pete Wallroth. That day, their world was turned upside down as Mair was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was 23 weeks pregnant. She continued to try to support them both through Mair’s treatment.
Jude is a PhD student and Project Midwife in Facemums, an innovative and unique social media service funded by Health Education England and delivered via the University of Salford. Her expertise is centred in collaboration and communication in social media, and the benefits of utilising digital platforms to communicate and inform service users and professionals. She drives the operation of the Facemums service which is currently provided within 13 NHS Trusts in England. Jude trains and supports the NHS Midwives who provide care via small groups throughout the pregnancy continuum and in addition to their routine care. Furthermore, Jude is undertaking PhD research to explore the experience of the Midwives who are providing care within Facemums.
Within her Midwifery care she has worked within Birth Centre and Community settings, most recently as a Community Midwife in Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust. Jude is also Midwifery Adviser to the charity Mummy's Star for women and their families who experience cancer in pregnancy and up to 12 months later.
Previously Jude founded and Chaired the University of Salford Midwifery Society. She remains a passionate promoter of Midwifery Societies and the benefit of student-led events in empowering future Midwives and collaborations between future Midwifery Leaders.
(HR & Employment)
Jo assists Mummy’s Star and our families with any HR /Employment related topics, policies and procedures. She worked in a number of different industries/companies and has over
20 + years Human Resource Management experience. She has the experience of being a Mummy’s Star service user and understands the emotional impact on mums and families when dealing with such devastating news. Jo is mum to a beautiful daughter, Sienna and married to Sean. She has carried out a large amount of fundraising for Mummy’s Star and Breast Cancer Care following her own diagnosis of cancer in 2014, raising over £55K.
She first became aware of Mummy’s Star in 2014 when she was diagnosed with a rare form
of breast cancer in her right breast. At the time she was 35 weeks pregnant and 2 weeks later her daughter was delivered. She was one of the very first mums supported by the charity.
The next 2 years involved an extensive treatment plan (chemotherapy, double mastectomy, radiotherapy, left side of thyroid removed and ovaries removed as precaution), and thankfully is now in remission and recovering well.
DR JENNY RATTRAY
Jenny has been a GP in Hampshire since 2012. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2005 and since then has developed an interest in maternal and child health. She has previously held roles as named GP for children’s safeguarding for Hampshire 5 CCGs and as Wessex perinatal mental health Clinical Champion for the Royal College of General Practice.
Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2018 during her second pregnancy. At 18 weeks pregnant with her twin boys she underwent a mastectomy followed by six months of chemotherapy. She is now recovering well and enjoying juggling life as a part-time GP, wife, and mum to her three sons.
Mummy’s star supported Jenny throughout her pregnancy and recovery and she is delighted to be able to use her experience both as a patient and a GP to raise awareness of cancer and pregnancy.