Lucy takes on The MoonWalk London, in memory of her mum

Mum was very mischievous and was always up dancing on the tables, even if she’d just finished chemo!

(L-R) Anne and Lucy

Lucy’s story:

“I had 20 wonderful extra years with my mum, Anne Ellis, thanks in part to The MoonWalk London! Mum discovered her breast cancer early as a result of a leaflet which the event’s organisers Walk the Walk sent her, when she signed up.

Sadly, Mum passed away in 2019, but in 2023 I’ll be doing my first MoonWalk in her honour, to raise funds for loved ones who may have similar journeys in the future.

Mum first took part in The MoonWalk London in 2002, to support one of her best friends, who’d been diagnosed with breast cancer the year before. A whole group of ladies signed up together and I remember everyone gathering at our house before they set off on the walk – it felt like a party and I was very excited! I was only nine at the time.

Lucy with brother Jack and Mum Anne

That night, I recall Mum asking me to go and get my Dad. She was getting ready for The MoonWalk and was wearing a pink bra, covered in feathers. My Mum had checked herself, having read a leaflet she was sent by Walk the Walk, and found a lump on her breast.

Mum only told my Dad about the lump. She went off with her friends that night and completed The MoonWalk, but promised Dad she would see the GP on the Monday. By the end of that week, she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and was already signed up for surgery – she had a lumpectomy, then chemotherapy and was put on the hormone therapy Tamoxifen for five years. Everything happened so quickly with Mum’s diagnosis, but my parents didn’t hide anything from me or my brother.

Lucy, Dad Clive, brother Jack, and Mum Anne

Mum was ill on and off for a few years, but she continued to fundraise, taking part in another three MoonWalks with friends and she also walked the New York and Boston Marathons with Walk the Walk. Her friends called their team for The MoonWalk “Ellis’s Army”! To fundraise, Mum used to hold “Pink Parties”. I remember she used to get me up on stage and tell me to cry. “You’re only little”, she’d joke, “you’ll get us loads of money”! She was a funny, amazing woman and raised so much money over the years. Unlike my brother, I never did a MoonWalk with her myself, as I was still too young.

Then Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer again. She had back pain that her doctors initially told her was because of the long hours she spent driving for work. In reality, her breast cancer had spread to her spine and was incurable. Mum often wondered whether she should have been offered a full mastectomy when she was first diagnosed, rather than just a lumpectomy.

Lucy, brother Jack, Dad Clive and Mum Anne

Mum continued with treatment for secondary breast cancer until she sadly died in 2019, when I was 26. Thankfully this was just before lockdown and we were able to throw a big celebration of her life - Mum was only 58. She was such a personality and was loved by so many people. She was quite a naughty person – very mischievous – and was always up dancing on the tables, even if she’d just finished chemo. She was so entertaining, loved being with people and spreading awareness about breast cancer far and wide. There were over 800 people at her funeral and it was actually a really joyous occasion! 


As a family, we were so grateful to The MoonWalk for helping Mum discover her breast cancer earlier than she would have done, and for giving us all that extra time with her. I feel ready now to do something amazing in Mum’s memory and with 2023 being the 25th year of MoonWalking, it seemed a perfect time to sign up for my first MoonWalk. It’s something really positive to focus on.

When Mum did The MoonWalk with her friends back in the early 2000’s, all of us children were about eleven and we went to meet Mum and her friends at the finish line. We all had cheerleader pompoms! Those same young schoolgirls – now adults – make up our team for The MoonWalk London 2023. The boyfriends want to join us too, but we’ve told them they have to wear a decorated bra, or they’re not allowed in the team!


We’re planning that the whole team will check their boobs on the night – we’re going to learn how to do it properly. Anything we can do to raise awareness is so, so important. It’s really special that we’re doing a walk to remember Mum – she always used to tell us how walking would make us feel better, even if we were feeling down. We can’t wait to walk in her memory”. 

Thank you for sharing your story Lucy and we look forward to seeing you and your team “Ellis’s Army 2.0” at The MoonWalk London 2023!



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