I was first seen in the breast family history clinic by Nicky when I was just 18-years-old and had a breast lump. Nicky was the best person an 18-year-old with a breast lump could see. She was kind and caring and explained all the tests and family history. She arranged all the tests and for the lump to be removed which was benign. She told me I would be called to attend for early breast screening when I reached 30 years. However, when I was 29-years-old my mum found out she had the BRCA 2 gene mutation and at the same time my mum's sister was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and was also BRCA 2 positive.
Over the course of that year myself, my sister, and my brother all tested positive for BRCA 2 as well. My mum, my sister and I were all referred to the NBI where Nicky was still working. All 3 of us had preventative mastectomy surgery and Nicky was a central support throughout that time. She worked tirelessly to ensure we were all seen on time in clinic and she was always on hand and available to talk, support and help during the pre-surgery decisions and the post-surgery recovery.
Nicky made a point of getting to know us as people not just as patients; she would ask after my son and husband. She was so positive throughout and nothing was ever too much trouble for her. She checked up on us when we were on the wards and her communication with us was excellent even during the cancellation of elective surgery last winter; she kept us informed and updated. She was an immense emotional support as well as a nurse. She just ''got it'' and understood her patients. I have been on this BRCA journey for over 2 years and I am glad to have had Nicky there in the clinics for her positivity, humour and understanding. She also set up a BRCA patient support group and I have made some good friends there. All the women who attend the group have similar stories of how Nicky has supported their BRCA journey, as a nurse and a friend.
I can't thank Nicky enough for the support she has offered throughout the BRCA journey. She is exceptional and her dedication and commitment to her work, her patients and her clinical team is by far the best I have ever encountered. Thank you, Nicky.