'I'm proud to lose my womb and my hair to cancer,' says 26-year-old Milton Keynes woman

A young woman who was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer at the age of 25 is fighting to spread awareness of the killer disease.

Brave Emily-Rae Rushmer from Peartree Bridge had always dreamed of having children but had to undergo a full hysterectomy to be cured.

Emily-Rae Rushmer

Emily-Rae Rushmer

The treatment, along with months of serious infections afterwards, meant she also had to say goodbye to her wait length blonde locks due to stress-induced alopecia.

Her hair is now a “straggly ginger mess” she said.

But undeterred, she planned a total head shave to get rid of the remaining straggles and raise money for Macmillan cancer support charity.

She said: “Shaving off what’s left of my hair doesn’t bother me at all, and neither does the big scar that runs right down my tummy from the hysterectomy.

Emily-Rae Rushmer shows her scar

Emily-Rae Rushmer shows her scar

“I see both things as reminders of my strength and the reason that I am still alive today. Before the cancer, I was so body conscious, but now I am proud of who I am.”

Emily, now 26, went to her GP last year because she was experiencing unusual bleeding.

A cervical smear detected the cancer immediately.

She said: “On the NHS, routine smears are only offered when a woman reaches the age of 25. That was obviously too late for me. I would like to see them offered routinely from the age of 16.”

Emily was told the cancer was so advanced that her womb had to be removed.

“Obviously that was a horrible. I’m still single but I was certain that I wanted to have children one day. The hysterectomy meant I was having to say goodbye to all my future babies.”

After a battle with post-op sepsis and numerous other abdominal infections, Emily is now on the road to recovery and is planning a career working with special needs children.

She has bravely posted photos of her scars on social media in a bid to raise awareness of cervical cancer.

The charity head shave will take place today, and you can donate on https://www.gofundme.com/f/ems-brave-the-shave