Sarah Wall, 36, had two implants fitted after a harrowing double mastectomy.
But her life was turned upside-down again after she was bitten in a pub beer garden.
“A mosquito nipped me on my boob,” Sarah said. “I hardly felt it, but the bite grew. Within weeks it had quadrupled in size. It looked more like a bullet wound.
“Then one day I woke up feeling like my chest was on fire. I was rushed to hospital and a doctor prodded the bite.
“Suddenly, it burst, sending pus shooting everywhere. I stared in horror as the gaping hole oozed with disgusting black fluid. It seeped down my side, drenching my denim shorts.”
Experts told Sarah from Birmingham that the implant exploded after the bite caused an infection in the tissue around it.
This caused the silicone to degenerate and eventually rupture. The implant was removed immediately, but because Sarah’s body needed time to recover, doctors weren’t able to replace it for another six months.
“The implants had changed my life,” Sarah said. “Looking down and seeing nothing on my chest after the mastectomy was horrendous.
“At the time, I was single, back living with my parents with no hair and no boobs. I felt dead inside.
“But the light at the end of the tunnel was having my breasts rebuilt. I’d been convinced my battle was over.”
Now she was left with a giant F-cup on one side and nothing on the other. The damaged implant was eventually replaced in March 2011.
“The ops have left me with terrible scarring but I finally have a matching set of boobs,” Sarah said.
In 2012, she set up a cancer support group to inspire others to stay positive, building on the legacy of her grandma Margaret who left £50,000 in her will to Cancer Research UK after being cured of ovarian cancer.
“At times, I do struggle to look in the mirror at my scars,” Claire added. “But they serve as a stark reminder of the battle I won against cancer.
“And that’s something I never want to forget.”
Cancer Research UK’s legacies fund over a third of the charity’s lifesaving research. For more information visit www.cruk.org/legacies