In December 2023, Cath Ray received the news that she had breast cancer. She’s currently undergoing treatment at The Christie in Macclesfield, but she hasn’t let that stop her; Cath and her husband Ian are taking on a huge challenge in 2024 to raise funds for Prevent Breast Cancer.

Ian, joined by friends and family along the way, is running 2024 kilometres in 2024, and aiming to raise an incredible £20,024 in the process. Just five months into the year, Cath and Ian are well over halfway to their fundraising target.

Cath has kindly shared her experience with breast cancer, and why this has motivated her and Ian to take on this staggering challenge.

“I found a breast lump second week of December 2023 and had a left mastectomy. When I got my pathology back post-op, the tumour was moved up to a grade 3 and one of my eight nodes taken was positive which meant I needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I have just had my fifth cycle of six and am doing well.”

I had a great experience from the start at the Nightingale Centre with a supportive breast care team, quick service and wonderful ward and theatre staff for my operation. I was home by 3pm on the day of surgery and was back to normal activity very quickly.

How has your diagnosis affected your everyday life?

“I work as a full-time employee at MFT and I’m a consultant paediatric anaesthetist at RMCH.”

At work I have always been someone that gives my all, as we all do, but at times this has meant I have been absent from my family more than I should. Having breast cancer has tipped this balance and made me stop and think about what is truly important to me.

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How did you feel when you found out about your breast cancer diagnosis?

“I would say being told I had breast cancer was pretty hard but the team at the Nightingale really made me feel right from the outset that I was going to be ok and that this probably wasn’t going to cut my life short anytime soon. They made me feel optimistic from the outset and explained how having something where so many well researched and advanced treatments exist was a bonus.”

As a doctor, I wonder if sometimes you have to give into just being the patient and trust the people and processes looking after you. So that’s been a big lesson for me.

Where did you find reassurance or joy?

My husband Ian has been amazing. When I first got the diagnosis, and we were waiting for a plan I was obviously at times worried I might die in the next 5 years and leave them all. He was great at making me realise that you never know what’s round the corner.

Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who has been through a similar experience?

“I would say one of the hardest parts of having breast cancer diagnosed is the not knowing part whilst you are waiting for results and a definitive plan. This is the time when your brain can sometimes go down rabbit holes of what ifs and worst-case scenarios!

Stay active and let people know what’s going on. Be upfront and factual with your kids so it reduces the worry. Talk and use the teams around you to support you in anything, especially decision making.”

If you would like to support Cath and Ian’s 2024 fundraiser, you can visit their JustGiving page.

Inspired to take on your own challenge and raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer? Email to get started.

Published On: May 31st, 2024 /

Would you like to share your story?

We’re always looking to speak to people who are interested in sharing their story and experience of breast cancer. It not only helps us spread awareness but can be helpful for others who are dealing with the disease. If this is a cause close to your heart and you would be comfortable sharing your journey with other supporters, and potentially the media, then please get in touch today by emailing

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About Prevent Breast Cancer

Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer – we’re committed to freeing the world from the disease altogether. Unlike many cancer charities, we’re focused on preventing, rather than curing. Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, we believe we can stop the problem before it starts. And being situated at the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK, we’re right at the front-line in the fight against the disease. Join us today and help us create a future free from breast cancer. If you have any questions or concerns, email us today.