TIRELESS breast cancer campaigner Wendy Watson has fought to help others ever since she was the first person in the UK to have a preventative double mastectomy.
The 57–year–old has given vital support to thousands of other women with, or at risk of developing, hereditary breast cancer which included her own daughter, Peak FM presenter Becky Measures.
And, after founding a national 24–hour helpline with an army of volunteers, she is still only thinking of how her MBE will help others.
Wendy, of Over Haddon in Bakewell, said: “I couldn’t believe I’d got an MBE, I was amazed.
“All that I have ever done has only been to help others, to further the cause, and I don’t really need any recognition.
“I never expected to get this, all I wanted to do was raise the profile of hereditary breast cancer, I wanted other people to not be as scared. One of the advantages of this MBE is that it will definitely raise the profile even more.”
The helpline – the first of its kind in Europe – was set up in 1996 after Wendy appeared in a television documentary about her operation.
Wendy also lectures about her experience, sits on the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and has recently opened charity shops in Chesterfield, Sheffield and Matlock with more to come.
Her nomination for the Queen’s New Year Honours said she had “changed the way the medical world views the possibility that breast cancer could be hereditary” and “the helpline performs a vital service which has been used by thousands of women and reduces workload to the NHS and has undoubtedly provided women with vital support.”
The busy grandma-to-be said she did not know who had put her forward for the honour.
She added: “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me.”