Family beats cancer gene

PUBLISHED: 08:01 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:15 24 May 2010

Julie, Joanne, Aimee and Joshua.

Julie, Joanne, Aimee and Joshua.

FOUR members of the same Weston family found to have a rogue gene have had to endure life-saving operations.

FOUR members of the same Weston family found to have a rogue gene have had to endure life-saving operations.The rare genetic condition, which was discovered by chance, meant the gene carriers had to have their perfectly healthy thyroid glands removed.Julie Flaskett and her sister Joanne Palmer were the first to be found to carry the gene which leads to a condition known as multiple endocrine neoplasia. Doctors said the sisters were so prone to getting thyroid cancer, their thyroid glands would have to be removed.Julie and Joanne's children faced a 50:50 chance of having the rogue gene.Julie's daughter Aimee, a pupil at Herons' Moor Community Primary School, had the test and was found to have the gene. Her thyroid gland was removed when she was aged only four. She may have to take tablets for the rest of her life.Thankfully Julie's 18-month-old son, Joell, does not have the gene.Joanne's son Joshua, a five-year-old pupil at Mendip Green First School in Worle, has also had to have his thyroid removed. Her other son Ben, aged nine, did not have the gene.Julie, of Camberley Way, Locking Castle, and Joanne, of Sweetgrass Road, had the tests after their cousin in Cornwall was found to have thyroid cancer and a genetic link was spotted. Until then, they were totally oblivious to the life-threatening condition. Julie, a nurse at Broadway Lodge drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, said: "The doctors were learning about the disease on my family."They said they had only found one other person with the gene and they were in Italy. They were contacting doctors in America it is so rare. It was a lottery whether or not we would have it."But life has been made a little easier for the family thanks to improvements at Weston General Hospital.Aimee and Joshua need to have regular check-ups and now, instead of facing a journey to and from the children's hospital in Bristol, the tests can be carried out by the specialist paediatric doctors in Weston.Julie, aged 38, said: "We were having to get up to Bristol for 8.30am and sometimes Aimee couldn't eat, which was hard."The Weston Super Kids Appeal is raising money for improved children's facilities at the hospital. When it reaches the £500,000 target, it will mean that other children like Aimee and Joshua can be treated in Weston.

More from Weston Mercury

Two hooded Weston-super-Mare robbers who held their victims at knife-point and threatened to ‘slice them up’ have been jailed.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

The English National Ballet will bring its Swan Lake performance to the West Country – and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to win tickets to see the show.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

An East Brent play park will receive a five-figure upgrade to improve facilities for children in the village.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:05

The collected 30 something’s were partying like it was 2002 at Bristol’s SWX on Friday as post punk rockers A returned to Bristol to play the whole of their seminal album Hi-Fi Serious.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05

More than £200,000 has been spent by North Somerset Council on redundancy payments in 18 months.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

The plan to join up a walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon has moved a step closer.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Venture into the wizarding world with the latest remake of one of J K Rowling’s books.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

A woman who has vowed to complete 40 outdoor swims in her 40th year is just three challenges away from hitting her target.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare
Saturday, November 17, 2018

Homemade crafts and items were sold in aid of one of Weston’s best-loved sites.

Read more
Saturday, November 17, 2018

A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists