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Mum-of-six given life-changing diagnosis months after welcoming baby girl

Rachel Kenny, from Widnes, Cheshire, thought she had pregnancy-related issues but was told she had cancer less than a year after giving birth to her daughter

Rachel Kenny was given the crushing diagnosis after giving birth to her daughter Ava
Rachel Kenny was given the crushing diagnosis after giving birth to her daughter Ava

A mum who thought she had pregnancy-related symptoms was shocked to discover she actually had cancer.

Rachel Kenny, 36, was told the devastating news she had cervical cancer last May, just 11 months after she gave birth to her baby girl Ava.

The mum-of-six, from Widnes, Cheshire, said she first went to the doctor after she began bleeding during her pregnancy but it was initially put down to “pregnancy related issue”.

But she later discovered she had cancer and that the disease had spread to her lymph nodes, meaning she was referred to the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre for chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Rachel is sharing her story to raise awareness of cervical cancer and encourage other women to go to the doctors if they have concerns.

“Initially my symptoms started when I was pregnant with my daughter, which was in 2020, but because I was pregnant they just kind of put it down to pregnancy related issues rather than anything else,” she told Liverpool Echo.

Rachel said she wants to give her children the opportunity to do the things they love knowing the months ahead will hopefully lead to her recovery


Rachel Kenny)

“Life gets in the way. I just brushed it off at first. I was quite naive. I thought things like that don’t happen to me, I’m only 35.

“It was early April I went to the doctors. As soon as I went to the GP she did an internal examination and she told me straight away she could see a mass on my cervix.

“From then to getting diagnosed that was really quick – that was the beginning of April and by May I knew I had cervical cancer and how bad it was.

“They said the only option available at that point was to have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.”

After finishing 13 weeks of treatment in September, Rachel was referred for a scan to determine whether it had been successful in getting rid of the cancer.

In the meantime, she started experiencing “excruciating pain” in her abdomen and she was admitted to hospital to get it under control.

In November, Rachel was given another devastating blow when she was told the cancer was still in her cervix and it had also spread to her uterus.

The 36-year-old, who has lost six stone since October, said she was given two options by doctors – to undergo a life-changing operation or opt for palliative care.

She has chosen to undergo the operation, which includes a full hysterectomy, in the hope of removing the cancer at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Rachel said: “I want to make people aware that actually it does happen to people my age. I’ve had smear tests and it’s never been picked up before so it’s kind of a shock.

“I think to be honest that’s what’s kept me going; the fact that I’ve got all these kids, I just need to be there for them.

“I’ve got to do everything I can to make sure I’m around for them and that’s the only thing that has kept me going.”

Rachel has set up a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising money to take her children on days out and give them something to look forward to during this difficult time.

In a message on the fundraising page, she said: “My amazing children have been through a hugely challenging journey since my cancer diagnosis and are coping as well as can be.

“Knowing the future months ahead are going to be, hopefully, one to recovery I would like to give them the opportunity to do the things they love such a swimming, rugby matches, days out together with family etc. And the worry free days they deserve.”

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