In 2021, one of our wonderful ambassadors, Sheelagh Davidson, decided to take on the incredible feat of walking and running 1083.3 miles to complete the virtual Land’s End to John O’ Groats Challenge. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, Sheelagh has been dedicated to raising awareness and supporting our vital research. Here you can read Sheelagh’s story and her motivations for completing this amazing challenge.
In 2018 we moved house, I was lucky enough to have an “out of cycle” mammogram as I had registered with a new GP. Going in, I wasn’t in the least bit worried, I ate sensibly (maybe too much chocolate and cake at times!), exercised regularly, was not overweight and drank mainly in moderation, although again sometimes too much prosecco!
There was no history of breast cancer in my family, and I checked my breasts for lumps regularly. Unfortunately, or fortunately I suppose, during the out of cycle scan they found high grade DCIS in my left breast. Upon having a lumpectomy, they discovered I had invasive ductal cancer. The cancerous tissue was quite deep in my breast. If I hadn’t gotten the scan, I would not have known there was anything untoward. The out of cycle scan helped detect the lump at least 12 months earlier than the normal scan.
I underwent a small op, then Chemo, then radiotherapy and while thinking there was light at the end of the tunnel, still during radiotherapy, my younger sister discovered that she had breast cancer as well. Turns out we both had hormonal cancer. Hers was lobular and she underwent a mastectomy. We both now get annual check-ups and continue treatment, like many others, through medication for the next few years.
I am therefore passionate about raising awareness and cannot stress enough how important it is to attend your mammograms and check your breasts regularly. I always advise regular checking. If you have any concerns do not ignore them, make sure you see a doctor.
During 2021, I challenged myself to complete the Land’s End to John O’Groats virtual challenge. The challenge itself was to walk or run 1083.8 miles between the two ends of the country. Why or earth you may ask, but it was lockdown, again, so I decided I needed to give myself a challenge and at the same time try and raise some funds for the charity. I started in January and my aim was to complete sometime during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I managed to complete the challenge at the end of August.
Most of my miles were recorded in and around Wilmslow where I live. I completed occasional longer walks, squeezed in during a couple of trips to Cornwall on the lovely coastal paths. I walked/ran the total of 1083.8 miles and more importantly raised £1245 for the charity! Feet now feeling better, and for some bizarre reason, this year, I am attempting the Great Manchester Run Half Marathon with my husband Stuart and hopefully raising some more funds for PBC.
WHY PREVENT BREAST CANCER?
Firstly, being a mum to 2 beautiful daughters I wanted to provide support to the effort that PBC is leading. This includes improved detection breakthroughs hopefully helping prevent others, including my daughters, from suffering the effects of this terrible disease. Since my own experience, and to repay the love and support I had when needed, I’m an ambassador for PBC. I always try to think of ways to raise funds for this valuable research and to raise awareness.
A breast cancer free future would mean no one would have to go through the stress of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment as this doesn’t just affect the individual, it also affects their whole family circle and friends.