CHRIS LAWLOR: A CHALLENGE A MONTH, INSPIRED BY MY WIFE’S DIAGNOSIS

Chris Lawlor Prevent Breast Cancer Charity UK

 

Chris Lawlor, aged 36, from Manchester, has challenged himself to complete 8 awe-inspiring, endurance events over the next 8 months. He will be tackling 7 half marathons and 1 triathlon. Starting with the Wilmslow Half Marathon this March and ending with the Manchester Half Marathon in October. He will also be completing the Blackpool Half Marathon, Great Manchester Half Marathon, Southport Half Marathon, Salford Triathlon, Heaton Park Half Marathon and the Great North Run.

Chris is pushing himself to the limit for his wife Roisin, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at The Nightingale Centre. “I have been inspired to complete this challenge by my wife Roisin Lawlor, aged 33, whose strength and courage over the past few months has been amazing.

I have completed a number of half marathons over the past 5 years and enjoy running to keep fit and healthy. I decided if I was going raise money, I needed to do something that would challenge me and be a challenge to complete. I decided to complete a challenge each month working up to October, which will hopefully be when my wife has completed her treatment and she will be able to run the final half marathon with me.’

Myself and my wife first became aware of Prevent Breast Cancer when we were sat in the waiting room at The Nightingale Centre, at Wythenshawe Hospital. We were waiting for her first appointment to investigate a lump in her breast. While we were sat waiting, we saw information around The Centre, and I googled the charity to read more about the work they do. It sounded like an amazing charity and something my wife felt was really important. Predicting and preventing is the best way to tackle any problem. At this stage we didn’t really think the charity would be something that would become so closer to our hearts, but all that would change over the next couple of weeks.

Our story with breast cancer started very recently and has come as a massive shock. Until this point breast cancer was something we had read about and were aware of, but we had not really been personally affected by.

That all changed on Boxing Day when Rosh found a lump in her breast. She had a biopsy on 8th January and at this point we still hadn’t really considered a negative outcome and were hopeful the lump would be nothing. Then on 15th January we got the awful news that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, breast cancer became something that was very real and not something that only affects other people. Since this date, the treatment that we have had from all of the staff at The Nightingale Centre and Wythenshawe Hospital has been amazing. On 30th January she had an operation to remove the lump and some lymph-nodes. The results of this have been very positive and we’re counting ourselves very lucky. The lump was found very early, was small and successfully removed. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread any further. We are currently awaiting confirmation of the next steps in terms of treatment.

After receiving the diagnosis, we realised there were lots of small lifestyle changes that we could make to try and help Rosh through any treatment but also to give her the best chance of the cancer not returning in future. This is something that we believe more young women should be aware of.

A breast cancer free future means no one else having to go through what we have been through. Sitting in a room and hearing the words ‘I’m afraid it’s not good news, the lump is cancerous’ is something that we’ll both remember forever and at that moment you can’t help but feel scared and helpless. If raising even a small amount of money can contribute in a tiny way to no one else hearing those words in the future, it will be worthwhile.

Don’t worry about how big or small the challenge is or how much money you will raise, just go for it! I was worried about doing a challenge that involves running as family and friends know I run a lot, so I thought people might not get behind it. However, within 24 hours my target total has been absolutely smashed and you’ll be amazed by people’s generosity and support! You quickly realise people are supporting the cause and are happy to help in any way possible.”

Chris has received a huge amount of support since announcing his assemble of ambitious activities. Within a few days Chris raised well over £5,000, exceeding his target beyond expectations. You can make a donation here,  if you’d like to support Chris and Roisin.