Rebecca Battersby was inspired to run 100k in October for Prevent Breast Cancer following her own history with cancer. Rebecca was treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 22 which included radiotherapy to the chest, resulting in a higher than average risk of developing breast cancer. In this blog Rebecca shares her story and motivation for completing this incredible challenge.
13 years ago, I had just moved to Manchester from the small town of Grimsby. I had a new job in the city and a new apartment. I was 22 and loving life. One day I noticed that I had a lump in my collarbone area, and it was getting bigger. I buried my head in the sand and didn’t deal with it, but I was worried. For a long time, I put off going to the doctors. When I eventually did go, the doctor did lots of tests, including a blood test, and then told me it was nothing to worry about. They said it was probably just an infection and sent me away. However, I was still really worried about the lump. I was persistent and went back. I told them that I still wasn’t happy and wanted to do a biopsy or have the lump removed. So, they did. After they completed the biopsy, they diagnosed me with stage 3 cancer – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
This was devastating news for a 22-year-old to deal with, I had worked so hard to build a life for myself in Manchester. I did not want to go back to Grimsby, sick and have everyone feel sorry for me. I wanted to carry on with my life in the city. So, I decided to continue on as normal, but knew that I had to go through a lot of treatment. I had to have an operation to remove the lump, 6 months of chemotherapy and 3 weeks of radiotherapy. As I did not want to deal with everyone knowing, my go to was using make up and wigs. I lost my hair within 3 weeks of having chemo and it was a very dark time for me; but this was when I found my passion for make-up.
In 2020, I launched my own business as a make-up artist which has been a huge positive to come out of it all. I got through that dark period with the help of my family and friends, a healthy diet, and lots of self-care. I have been all clear for 12 years but have to have annual check-ups. There have been a few scares, but it has made me value life a lot more.
I like to keep fit and healthy and running is a great way of doing that. When researching, I read that 1 of the top 5 things you can do to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer is exercise breast cancer is exercise, so, a sporting challenge made sense. I ran my first 30k with no issues and enjoyed it. My back started to really hurt waking up in the morning, but it was nothing too bad. I had 40k left to run in the last week and it was half term. I had to juggle work commitments and looking after my children. My only option was to run 10k at 6am in the dark! It was a hard slog, but I had started the challenge, so I had to finish it. So far, I have raised £400 and plan to do more fundraising for Prevent Breast Cancer in the future.
WHY PREVENT BREAST CANCER?
I have annual screenings as I’m classed as high risk due to previous radiotherapy on my chest for lymphoma. Whenever I hear of someone passing from breast cancer, women in their 30s or mothers with young children being diagnosed, it really affects me and hits home.
As a mother of two small children, I want to be around to see them grow up without having that worry. One of my best friends who I met whilst I was having treatment at The Christie has had breast cancer 3 times. She means the world to me, so I really wanted to do something to fight back. Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity solely focused on preventing that from happening so fundraising to support the charity made sense. It’s the least I could do for such a fantastic cause.
Rebecca has raised £400 to date for our life-saving research. If you would like to support her incredible efforts, you can donate on her JustGiving page.