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.
Actors Katie McGlynn and Rob Mallard joined us as celebrity patrons of Mummy’s Star in late January 2019.
We’ve worked closely with the actors who play Sinead and Daniel in Coronation Street, the nation’s favourite and longest running soap production. During 2018/19 we consulted with them, alongside the production and research team at Coronation Street, on the development of the emotive cancer and pregnancy storyline that has captured the hearts of their viewers.
Both actors have been amazing in portraying the very difficult and sensitive scenarios that our mums can face. They have both skilfully and beautifully delivered the emotion and factual scenes depicting the cancer and pregnancy storyline that continues to run.
So, we’re absolutely delighted that we are able to work with them both in raising vital awareness and to reach more of the mums and families who need our support.
DR JACQUE GERRARD
MBE DUniv MSc RM RGN
Jacque Gerrard is a midwife who formerly worked as the Royal College of Midwives Director for England from 2008-2018.
Jacque remains on the NMC register as a midwife and is now a speaker at maternity conferences, works part time with Public Health England as a Physical Activity Champion and has a YMCA gym instructor qualification. She is currently on the Active Pregnancy Foundation Scientific Advisory Board aiming for a culture change towards active pregnancy. She is also on the editorial board of the British Journal of Midwifery.
Jacque qualified as a nurse in Glasgow in the early eighties then as a Midwife in Bradford in Yorkshire. Jacque graduated with her MSc in nursing studies at the University of Bradford and subsequently took some time out to care for her twin sons.
She has been a Head of Midwifery in three large Yorkshire NHS Trusts heading up maternity as well as women and children’s services including gynaecology cancer services.
In August 2008 Jacque left the NHS to broaden her horizons’ and contribute to the wider agenda of promoting, supporting, and influencing the midwifery professional agenda at the Royal College of Midwives until 2018.
Jacque was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of the University (DUniv) by the University of Bradford in recognition of her national midwifery work in 2014 and she went on to receive an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2019 for services to women and midwifery.
Mummy`s Star is a charity close to Jacque`s heart and she comments that:
'The NHS is not always quite geared up to supporting women with cancer through pregnancy and following birth in my experience. This wonderful charity is very much needed to help bridge that gap. By giving advice and support to women and their families affected by cancer in pregnancy, it gives women the hope they need, as they realise that they are not alone. It is fantastic that help from Mummy`s Star is available in a very personalised way at a very precious and important time in their lives. I am privileged to be involved with this unique charity and it is an honour to be one of their patrons.'
MBE, DUniv, MSc, BA, RGN, RM, ADM
Gillian joined the Mummy’s Star board in April 2018 as Chair.
Prior to this she had been the Head of Scotland for the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) until her retirement in 2016. With over 35 years experience in midwifery and nursing, Gillian was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to midwifery and partnership in Scotland and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University from the University of the West of Scotland in the same year.
Gillian is passionate about midwifery and developing midwives to show their full potential. She has been jointly leading the RCM campaign to improve workplace behaviours and presented with her colleague at the European Midwives Association 2016. She had a poster presentation at the International Congress of Midwives in Toronto 2017 and continues to present on this topic at conferences.
Gillian is Chair of Birthsparks annual MaMa conference held in Scotland. She was heavily involved with the recent Maternity and Neonatal Review in Scotland before she retired and looks forward to seeing its implementation progress. She was delighted to become a patron of the Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal (SiMBA) in 2016.
Trustee & Treasurer
Tom joined the board in December 2018 as Treasurer. Tom is 36, is married and has three children (Annabelle, Rupert and Grace). In 2014 his wife Philippa was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma while pregnant with Grace.
Her treatment was successful and despite Grace being delivered early and spending time in special care she is now thriving. Philippa connected with Mummy’s Star at the time and this is how Tom's connection began.
After studying Economics and Econometrics at Nottingham University Tom joined Ernst and Young and became a partner in 2014.
Tom brings a number of skills to the board including governance and financial skills, financial control, financial reporting as well as presentation, business planning, and funding.
Cathy has over 15 years’ experience working in the charity sector. Starting her career at Dementia UK, holding several fundraising roles at WaterAid and as Head of Corporate Partnerships and Events at Farm Africa. She now runs her own fundraising consultancy business and has worked with a wide range of charities and cultural organisations on increasing their income and their impact.
Cathy was introduced to Mummy’s Star when her best friend was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her second child. 'It has been hard to watch from the sidelines as my best friend has had to deal with her diagnosis and treatment, being a mum to an energetic two year old all while also going through the ups and downs of pregnancy. When an opportunity for a Trustee position came up it seemed a perfect way to give back and I hope I can bring my fundraising experience to the excellent work Mummy’s Star is already doing.'
Cathy lives in Bristol with her husband and two young daughters. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking and singing in a local choir.
David qualified in 1999 and first worked on the Adult Leukaemia Unit at the Christie Hospital.
In 2002 he moved as a staff nurse to the Young Oncology Unit where he stayed until 2009, eventually becoming the ward manager. The time on the YOU allowed David to develop his skills in working with Teenagers and Young Adults with cancer. In 2009 he became the first Teenage Cancer Trust TYA Lead Nurse to be appointed in the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network. This was an exciting challenge to be working across a whole region with the aim of developing the TYA services and encouraging a greater degree of involvement between the Principal Treatment Centre and the TYA Designated Hospitals. In 2012 David moved back to The Christie to become the Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse for TYA’s for Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria region. This current role has the same remit as the previous lead nurse post but comes with the challenges of a much bigger area, different hospital configuration and a very different TYA team. David was part of the Teenage Cancer Trust Nursing and Support Pilot – Bridging the Gap, that won the Nursing Times inaugural HRH The Prince of Wales Award for Integrated Approaches to Care.
David is involved in various different national groups, including being the treasurer for Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer (TYAC) and has been a Clinical Lead for an NHS Improving Quality workstream that was looking at end of treatment issues for TYA’s. He is also the Clinical Director for the Greater Manchester Cancer TYA Pathway Board.
LLB (Hons) PGDip (Law) FHEA PGCPE
Trustee & Secretary
Jackie is a qualified solicitor and practiced company law for a number of years both in London and the North West before qualifying to teach company law up to masters level. She runs her own company providing business and company law teaching for apprentices, undergraduates and post graduates nationwide as well as writing and delivering company law blogs, articles and bespoke live and e-learning courses for clients.
Jackie is thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a Trustee for Mummy’s Star and hopes her legal skills and experience can be of assistance both to the Trustees and the amazing work that Mummy’s Star is doing.
Jackie lives in Glossop, is married to Rob and together they have two amazing boys. In Jackie’s spare time she keeps fit running around after her boys, attempting to run around local hills and is working towards a black belt in kickboxing.
Salima has worked in public services for 20 years ranging from the Welsh Assembly Health Department to managing an inner city, community based Healthy Living Network.
She loves to help services & organisations work better together, making it easier for the customer to access high-quality, people-friendly services.
Salima has personal experience of parental bereavement as her dad committed suicide when she was 15 years old.
Salima has also been through a difficult journey to become a mother, including suffering from Hypremesis Gravidarum, a serious condition during all of her pregnancies.
Salima is married to Iain and they are blessed with their two boys Elliot and Casper.