Mum and daughter plan ‘really special’ Christmas after learning it may be their last


Maria O’Neill, 28, was diagnosed with advanced triple-negative breast cancer in July before 55 year-old Margaret Wallace found out she had stage three ovarian cancer

Maria O'Neill and Margaret Wallace with little Mila visiting Santa
Maria O’Neill and Margaret Wallace with little Mila visiting Santa

A mum and daughter diagnosed with cancer weeks apart are planning a ‘really special Christmas’ fearing there is a chance it could be their last together.

Maria O’Neill, 28, was diagnosed with advanced triple-negative breast cancer in July and just five weeks later doctors her 55-year-old mum, Margaret Wallace, found out she had stage three ovarian cancer.

As Christmas approaches, the pair from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, hope the festive season will be full of memories as they are nervous about what the future may hold for them both.

Maria in particular is keen to make memories with her daughter Mila who is two.

The nurse told the Daily Record : “Mila understands Christmas this year.

Maria wants to make this Christmas special with her two-year-old daughter

Mum and daughter were diagnoses with cancer five weeks apart
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Image:

Maria O’Neill / SWNS)

“She gets that my mum and I haven’t been well too.

“When we shaved our heads earlier in the year she would bang them together and find it funny, and would talk about ‘the monster in mummy’s sore booby’.

“We both have weak immune systems so Covid has been a worry this Christmas.

“Some loved ones have caught it so we’ll be doing dinner with just us three.

The pair hope the festive season will be full of memories

“But I still want to make it as special as we can for Mila, with Santa visits and ice skating.

“It sounds bad, and I am hopeful for the future, but you never know what might happen.

“This could be our last Christmas all together.

“This Christmas we’re wishing for a more positive 2022.”

Maria received her devastating diagnosis after finding a lump when was scrubbing fake tan off in the shower.

Surgeons were able to successfully remove her tumour in November and she hopes radiotherapy next year will see off the cancer for good.

“With the type of cancer I have, there’s a 60 per cent chance that it could come back, even with the tumour being removed,” Maria said.

Margaret is working through six rounds of chemotherapy
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Image:

Maria O’Neill / SWNS)

“I feel like a bit of a ticking time bomb.

“Hopefully the radiotherapy in January works and I won’t need further treatment, but we’ll see.”

Margaret is working through six rounds of chemotherapy to blast her ovarian cancer and is set to undergo a hysterectomy next year.

Maria received her devastating diagnosis after finding a lump
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Image:

Maria O’Neill / SWNS)

Although the pair have been through some tough challenges, Maria says they have been great support to each other.

“My mum’s been amazing through all this,” Maria added.

“This sounds awful, but it’s nice having someone who can relate to what you’re going through is nice.

The pair have been through some tough challenges
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Image:

Maria O’Neill / SWNS)

“On this journey we now don’t take anything for granted, we have a new outlook on life.

“People moan about small things, try fighting for your life.”

For more information on both ovarian and triple-negative breast cancer head to the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

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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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