Brave Scots mum attended best pal’s wedding the day after shock cancer diagnosis


A Menstrie mum diagnosed with breast cancer the day before her best friend’s wedding kept the crushing news to herself to avoid ruining the big day.

Bridesmaid Samantha Currie was told about her diagnosis in a phone call as she prepared to spend the night with life-long friend Kara Rollo on the eve of her wedding.

But she swallowed back tears and refused to let it overshadow the event.

Looking back at the photographs of the ceremony she sees tears in her eyes but also genuine happiness for her much-loved friend.

She eventually told her about the cancer three days later and Kara has been by her side ever since.

Samantha with her wee ones, Emma and Tom
Samantha with her wee ones, Emma and Tom

Samantha – devoted mum to Emma, ​​12, and Tom, two – shared her story to raise awareness of early detection and highlight the need to raise vital funds for cancer research.

She was a busy P7 teacher when she discovered a lump in her right breast last October and made it a priority to contact her GP.

Within two weeks she was at Forth Valley Royal hospital having a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy.

She was at home when the phone call from the hospital came through, on October 14, which changed her life.

Samantha said: “I’ll never forget that phone call.

Samantha told Kara of the diagnosis three days after the wedding
Samantha told Kara of the diagnosis three days after the wedding

“They asked me to come into the hospital for an appointment with the doctor on Monday and advised that I bring someone with me. The second they asked me to bring someone with me I thought that wasn’t a good sign. I pleaded with the nurse to tell me what the tests had shown, explaining that I couldn’t go through the whole weekend not knowing.

“She asked me to get a pen and paper then started explaining what the tests had shown.

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“The tests showed I had breast cancer. It was only when she said that I’d need chemotherapy treatment that the reality started to kick in.

“I started to cry but then stopped myself.

“I was getting ready to stay overnight with my best friend before her wedding day and was the only bridesmaid doing this so I had to be there. As hard as it was it was the right thing to do.

“If I cried now it would open the floodgates and I wouldn’t be able to stop.”

Samantha broke the cancer news to her husband John but the couple told no one else until after the wedding.

She eventually told her friend Kara in a phone call three days later.

Samantha said: “Kara and I are so close.

The mum had her final round of chemo at the start of the month
The mum had her final round of chemo at the start of the month

“She said she couldn’t believe how I’d managed to keep it a secret. I think she understood it had been so important to me that I did n’t burst her happiness bubble from her.

“We talk all the time and she’s been a great support all the way through cancer.”

Doctors explained that Samantha had triple negative breast cancer and she started on chemotherapy treatments, every three weeks.

Losing her long hair was a tough challenge as well as dealing with side effects like sickness.

Explaining to her children what was happening was vital too.

Samantha said: “My son is too young to know what’s going on but my daughter Emma has been amazing.

“I’ve said to Emma she’s being so strong which is great but I’ve told her it’s okay not to be okay too. She hugged me and said, ‘I know mum but I’m just being brave because you’re so brave’.

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“We talk about everything. Emma is so caring. Now she’ll text me from school on the days I have a hospital appointment to say good luck.

“My hair was falling out so much that after the second chemotherapy treatment I asked my husband to shave the rest of it off. It felt like a chance to take back control from cancer by deciding when I wanted to lose my hair. When my daughter saw me bald for the first time she just hugged me and told me I looked beautiful.”

Samantha and bride Kara are 'so close'
Samantha and bride Kara are ‘so close’

Samantha added: “My children mean the world to me and have kept a smile on my face even during the tough times.

“On the days I feel well enough to dance around the kitchen then we still do it. It’s important to still be Mum. I’m blessed to have the best family and friends you could ever wish for.

“The day I discovered I had cancer, I knew that this was going to be in our lives for a very long time to come.

“I also knew that my best friend Kara was getting married in just a few hours time and I was the bridesmaid staying overnight with her on the eve of the wedding.

“She would only get one wedding day so I refused to let cancer overwhelm everything. This was her moment and I found the inner strength to put cancer away in a box for that one special day

Samantha has been chosen to launch Cancer Research UK's Race for Life events in Scotland this spring.
Samantha has been chosen to launch Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events in Scotland this spring.

“When I look back at photos from the wedding day I can see genuine happiness. People cry at weddings anyway so a few tears didn’t look out of place.

“There’s a sparkle in my eyes which may have faded a little during cancer treatment but with support from the amazing people in my life I know that sparkle will return.”

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Samantha had her seventh and final chemotherapy treatment on March 9 and is now preparing for surgery to have the tumor removed.

She will also need radiotherapy treatment this spring.

She’s started a Facebook group where people check in to find out how treatment is going.

Samantha said: “Yes, there are days when I can smile and make things normal for the kids. My goal is to do that often but there are also some dark days.

“I think it’s important to be honest, to document those days as well. I was lucky with my cancer care during the pandemic. I was seen within two weeks and treatment began straight away. I know that’s not been the case for everyone. Early detection is vital so I’m glad by sharing my story I can raise awareness.”

Now Samantha has been chosen to launch Cancer Research UK’s much- loved Race for Life events in Scotland this spring. She’ll stand on the start line as VIP starter at Scotland’s first Race for Life event in Stirling on Sunday, May 8 and sound the horn to set participants off on the 5k and 10k courses to raise funds for life-saving research.

She knows exactly how vital it is to raise funds for life-saving research and hopes to encourage women and men of all ages and abilities to sign up at

Every year around 33,200 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime. Money raised at Race for Life enables scientists to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer – helping to save more lives.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.

Women, men and children across Scotland can choose from 3k, 5k and 10k events.

There is also a chance to take part in Pretty Muddy, a mud-splattered obstacle course and there’s a Pretty Muddy Kids option.

To enter, visit

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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