Michelle Heaton tears up as she talks about passing on BRCA2 cancer gene to her children

Michelle Heaton

by Closer Online |
Published on

Michelle Heaton took part in Stand Up to Cancer's canoe challenge, and opened up about living the the BRCA2 cancer gene

Since being diagnosed as having the BRCA2 cancer gene (like Angelina Jolie) in 2012, Michelle Heaton has had a pretty tough (understatement!) time of it.

The mum-of-two quickly opted to have a double mastectomy to lessen her chances of developing breast cancer, and later had a hysterectomy - which caused her to go through the menopause in her mid-30s.

WATCH: Michelle Heaton tears up talking about passing the BRCA2 gene on to her children

But 38-year-old Michelle - who shot to fame as part of the pop group Liberty X - has taken on each devastating challenge with fiery determination. And now she's determined to help others fight cancer too, which is why she signed up to Stand Up To Cancer's canoe challenge.

For those who don't know, Stand Up To Cancer's Canoe Challenge - which ends today - saw cancer survivors team up with a host of celebrties (including Closer faves Judge Rinder, Anthea Turner, Sam Thompson and Anna Passey) to paddle (row?) FIVE marathons in FIVE days! Crazy, we know!

Stand Up To Cancer
Judge Rinder and Anthea Turner on the water (Credit: Stand Up To Cancer) ©Stand Up To Cancer

Talking about why taking part was so important to her, Michelle explained: "Taking part in the Great Canoe Challenge was a no-brainer for me. When I discovered I was a carrier of a faulty version of the BRCA2 gene, it was devastating. I felt like my world had been turned upside down. I want to do everything I can to help to raise money for research because I know it’s the key to defeating this disease.”

For the row, Michelle was paired with fellow BRCA2 carrier Josephine Torrington, and naturally talk quickly turned to what it's like living with the faulty gene.

Michelle Heaton
Michelle and her rowing team have a well deserved drink (Credit: Instagram/ Michelle Heaton) ©Instagram/ Michelle Heaton

Tearing up, Michelle told Josephine: "It’s really hard to say that I think about this every day, but I do.

"I know that I’ve got a 50% chance of giving it to my children, and it’s really heart-breaking to think that my daughter might have to make those decisions before she’s even started a family."

Despite her very real fears, Michelle vowed to remain positive though, saying: "We can help stop cancer before it stops them."

Stand Up To Cancer’s Great Canoe Challenge is taking place from Monday 25 September – Friday 29 September. For more information visit: standuptocancer.org.uk/canoe, to support the Paddlers and donate £5 or £10 text CANOE5 orCANOE10 to 70404*, or donate online here.


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