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

58 minutes ago

The first of this year’s Go Kids Go! money has been spent by a Weston-based scout group.

Read more
Yesterday, 21:00

Festive fliers have been advised to pack presents in their hold luggage to avoid them being unwrapped at security.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Girls from across the Extend Learning Academies Network in Weston came together for an inter-schools football tournament.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Weston stroke survivors could benefit from a ‘life-changing’ new rehabilitation programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A couple’s home was raided while they were partying the night away at a police ball. The story featured in the Weston Mercury and Somerset Herald 50 years ago.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Indie rock band The Zutons will perform in Bristol next spring.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Work has begun on Weston’s £11million flagship food and drink centre, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the area.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:50

Significant improvements to day-time operations at Weston General Hospital’s A&E have been recognised by health inspectors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:58

An action-packed superhero adventure comes to cinema screens next week, and Mercury readers will win tickets to see it.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:58

The family of a Worle youngster have praised their son’s bravery after he won a Somerset Award.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°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

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists