'Distraught and heartbroken': Teen refused place in army because mum and aunt had breast cancer

ITV News Central correspondent Rajiv Popat reports.

A 17-year-old who was refused a place in the army because two members of her family have had breast cancer has now been told she can join.

Carys Holmes performed well at the tough three-day selection camp at Whittington Barracks in Staffordshire only to be told she was being rejected because of a history of cancer in her family.

She was told that because her mother and her aunt both had breast cancer, that put her at risk too.

Last month, Carys, had to undergo a gruelling three day selection process process at Whittington Barracks near Lichfield in Staffordshire.

She told ITV News Central: "I wanted to do artillery which involved all the tanks, I love the discipline side of it and all the benefits, the travelling, the sports and all the opportunities you get with it."

'I was distraught, I was heartbroken'

At first, she thought everything was fine. Carys was expecting to receive her certificate saying she'd passed the assessment.

But a doctor then said she was medically unfit and wouldn't be able to join the army.

She said: "I passed my cognitive with flying colours, I passed my fitness and then it came to my medical.

"They said that, if, in the future I have to get preventative surgery that I would have to have time off and that's something they didn't want to risk."

She adds: "I had spent so much time and so much effort training and I felt like I was just about to be handed my certificate and then I got told and then it felt like it all got ripped away from me."

Her family appealed and asked NHS genetic experts to assess the chances of her developing breast cancer and inheriting a gene called Brac1 .

They said the risk of that before the age of 30 was extremely low.

The Army has since done a U-turn and admitted they made a mistake and have now accepted her application.

The Army told ITV News Central that following a review of Carys' case, it concluded that her rejection as medically unfit was incorrect.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: "We’ve reviewed the circumstances of the case and are pleased to confirm that Carys has been passed as medically fit to join the Army.

"We apologise to Carys for the difficulties she’s experienced in her application so far."

Her new adventure and journey starts in October.

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