RAF Wittering officer Debs Wright throws her support behind the charity Target Ovarian Cancer
An RAF Wittering officer has joined in the fight against ovarian cancer.
Wing Commander Debs Wright discovered she was carrying a faulty version of the BRACA2 gene just 10 days after her wedding last year and has thrown her support behind the charity Target Ovarian Cancer.
These genes usually protect against cancers, but when mutations occur they can lead to an increase in the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Wing Commander Wright, who commands 85 Expeditionary Logistics Wing, said: “Learning all this was a huge shock.
"I was at a higher risk of something I now knew to be extremely serious.
“The more I found out about ovarian cancer, the more I was
alarmed and needed to act, to do something to reduce my risk and to tell others.
"Knowing that there’s a community out there for me was really powerful."
A competing triathlete, Debs chose to have preventative surgery and her ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed at Addenbrookes Hospital.
Debs said: “The NHS were brilliant, my genetic counsellor and the staff at Addenbrookes Hospital were absolutely superb.
"They said afterwards that if you can keep yourself fit, it makes a real difference to your recovery.
"After surgery I was moving around within a few days which was brilliant!”
Although surgery has reduced the risk of ovarian cancer, it took away any possibility that she could have children and triggered an early menopause.
She added: “I was in my mid-40s and although I’d recently got married, we’d decided not to have children.
"For the first few days after the operation, I felt like another person, but I am taking hormone replacement therapy now and my fitness is nearly back to normal.
"My life has changed, but I’m still able to work and keep fit. "My husband and my family have been incredible and my colleagues in the RAF have been so supportive, but it is not that way for everyone.”
She will now be used by Target Ovarian Cancer as a case study and is planning some fundraising events including afternoon tea and a sponsored park run.
More by this authorMatthew Brown