AN inspirational worker from Aintree Hospital who won the prestigious title of Employee of the Year was left rocked just days later following a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 35.
Danielle McDermott, a Patient Experience and Engagement Officer, has now written her own book, Bald, Brave and Bloody Beautiful, detailing her journey through breast cancer.
The mum-of-one, who lives in Kirkby, checked her breast just one day before the staff awards ceremony at St George’s Hall in November 2018. She felt a lump, but was unwell with a chest infection and thought nothing of it and fell back asleep.
The next day she won Employee of the Year, alongside being nominated for Innovator of the Year and Professional Excellence for Life after Stroke for her work at Aintree Hospital, but still couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right.
Danielle said: “Something was just telling me no, check your breast again. And that’s when I definitely could feel a lump in my left breast.
“I was in the breast clinic at Aintree just four days later when I was diagnosed with the devastating news of breast cancer.”
At the time of Danielle’s diagnosis, her colleagues didn’t know if it had spread so a biopsy was taken to understand more.
Two weeks later she was told she had grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), which is cancer that has started in the cells of the milk duct and spreads to the tissue of the breast
She would need to have a mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. IDC is the most common form of breast cancer.
Danielle said: “I felt my femininity had been taken away from me when I lost my breast and my hair.
“I didn’t want to lose my hair but I wanted to ensure I stayed cancer free and the chemotherapy would improve my chances of a longer life and seeing my daughter Hollie grow up. It was such a difficult process, and that’s when I said I was going to write a book.”
Bald, Brave and Bloody Beautiful was released on Amazon, Bowker, Waterstones online and Barnes and Noble earlier this month, and details the journey Danielle went on as a breast cancer patient.