May 3, 2011

UK: Breaking the silence of ovarian cancer

EDINBURGH / The Scotsman / Health Info / May 3, 2011

By Maria Croce

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are so difficult to spot that it's called the silent killer.

But Fiona Downie, who saw her mother die from the disease, has become one of the first women in Scotland to take a new blood test which could lead to early diagnosis and help save many lives

AS FIONA Downie sets to work sewing a beautiful wedding gown for a friend, she's proud that she's inherited her design skills from her mum. Fiona loves looking at a photo in her dining room of her mum Wendy looking radiant on her own wedding day in 1979, wearing a pretty, high-necked column dress she designed and made herself. The dress still hangs in her mum's wardrobe, at the family home in Glasgow she shared with husband Craig, now 71, a retired businessman.

Fiona Downie, who took the new OvPlex test.
The results were negative. Picture: Julie Bull

"I looked at her dress recently, and it's made so perfectly," says Fiona, an Edinburgh advertising account executive. "I did a degree in fashion design at Edinburgh College of Art but still will never be as good or as creative as her.

"Well… hopefully one day. But it feels nice to know I got my skills from her and we have those things in common. She always used to say she wasn't really good at anything, but she was one of those annoying people who are brilliant at everything."

Her mum passed on her design flair and also her pretty brown eyes to her youngest daughter. But sadly she won't ever get to see Fiona walk down the aisle, or become a mum herself, as Wendy died of ovarian cancer in November, aged just 61.

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©2011 Johnston Press Digital Publishing