Member of Parliament for Lincoln Karen Lee choked back tears as she told of her 35-year-old daughter’s battle with breast cancer in a parliament debate.
Karen Lee told the House of Commons her daughter Lynsey Taylor had died of breast cancer at the age of just 35, some 13 months after she was diagnosed.
Her voice cracked as she explained to colleagues that the mother-of-three had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in April 2010 and died just over a year later.
Lee, who is an ambassador for the Beat Cancer Now charity, urged colleagues to come together to prevent all breast cancer deaths by 2050 during the debate about the government’s cancer strategy.
“Our Lynsey was a bright girl who had a degree in politics and social work and she worked with underprivileged children. She also has a husband and three small children. They were two, four and seven when she died”, Karen explained.
“She was treated at Nottingham City Hospital, she had chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy, and her treatment was amazing. They couldn’t have been better. As well as that she came home for the final three weeks of her life to die.”
She was comforted by other MPs on the benches after becoming visibly upset recounting the impact the illness has had on her family.
She gave support to Breast Cancer Now’s call for the government to address staffing shortages and lack of access to a clinical nurse specialist, adding Lynsey often had to wait in hospitals on trollies. “If you can imagine this when you have got cancer in your bone, it’s very distressing.”
Repeating aspirations by Breast Cancer Now that by 2050 everybody who develops breast cancer now will live, Karen Lee added:
“My daughter used to say to me, because I used to say to her, ‘I’ve had so much of my life, more than you. I wish it could be me.’ She used to say, ‘mum, I wish it could be no one.”
“As parliamentarians we’ve got the power to influence this and change it.
“Maybe we can join together to make Breast Cancer Now’s vision a reality and that by 2050, nobody need die of breast cancer.”
The emotional parliament debate came after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £45 million boost to improve cancer care.