Shirley Bulmer, Christie patient

Shirley Bulmer first got a breast cancer diagnosis in 2013. She had surgery for this and went onto a course of chemotherapy. But unfortunately, after three years Shirley’s breast cancer came back.

The second time around, Shirley’s diagnosis was triple negative breast cancer. This meant it could not be treated with standard hormone or targeted cancer drugs.

Shirley now lives in Lincoln but before this, she and her husband Colin lived in Glossop in Greater Manchester. When she got her second diagnosis, a friend from Mellor, also in Greater Manchester, recommended The Christie to Shirley.

Starting on a clinical trial at The Christie in April 2018, Shirley has found the trial to be a real lifeline for her. Her scans show it’s having a positive effect on her and she’s even been able to stop having chemotherapy recently.

During her first diagnosis, Shirley suffered considerable side effects from her chemotherapy treatment. But this time around, she’s had very few issues and so her quality of life is a lot better.

This Christmas, Shirley and Colin are planning a holiday to Madeira. She’s still able to do five mile walks with her walking group and go swimming – activities she enjoyed before her cancer diagnosis.

Shirley is really supportive of The Christie’s Team Science appeal to build a new cancer research centre in Manchester. She thinks the opportunity to improve the number of clinical trials is really important, as it can help more patients like her.

“For me, [a donation] would be worth every penny, because it helps so many people. And without the research, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
“Compared to a number of years ago, people didn’t have a chance, when they got breast cancer like me. 
“I’m just so grateful and it just gives so many people a better quality of life, and hope. It’s like a second chance.”

        - Shirley Bulmer