Endurance challenges lined up for husband after cancer victory

Dave Wilson of Taverham, who is taking part in the London Marathon and the Four Inns Walk in Derbysh

Dave Wilson of Taverham, who is taking part in the London Marathon and the Four Inns Walk in Derbyshire to raise funds for Cancer Research, after his wife, Anita, has been treated for breast cancer. With them are their sons James, 10, and Peter, seven. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A Taverham man whose wife endured a frightening cancer battle will pit himself against endurance events to try to help other people avoid going through the same trauma.

It was two years ago when mother-of-two Anita Wilson had a feeling something was wrong and was diagnosed that summer with lobular breast cancer.

'That was always going to be a shock,' said Dave, her husband of 25 years. 'She knew that something was wrong, so in a way the diagnosis was tinged with relief.

'The initial response is shock, upset, and fear. The fear is probably the hardest part. As a spectator you are scared about what is going to happen. As soon as anyone says cancer you automatically jump to conclusions, but we had to deal with it as best we could.'

After surgery and chemotherapy at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, last year Mrs Wilson, 46, was told there was no more evidence of the disease.

'That was a huge relief because any negative result is a good one, but the horrible part of it is you can never say it is over,' added Mr Wilson.

Recovering slowly, keen runner Mrs Wilson can only cheer her husband on from the sidelines as he tackles the London marathon for the first time in 11 years.

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And this Saturday Mr Wilson, 47, will be joined by friends David Stansbury and Kevin Wickham for the Four Inns walk - a 40 mile team race across Derbyshire, with funds from both events going to Cancer Research. Their 10-year-old son James has joined in shorter training sessions, watched by seven-year-old Peter and their mother, who says her marathon days are done.

'My motivation is reducing the number of people affected by cancer,' added Mr Wilson. 'Those are not just the physical effects but the emotional effects as well.

'It is not like a broken bone, it isn't mended forever. Any time she feels something that doesn't seem right she is always on edge. It places quite an emotional strain even after treatment is over.'

The couple celebrated their silver wedding anniversary last year, and refused to let it be overshadowed. 'We were able to celebrate it in a reasonable state of health,' said Mr Wilson. 'We were delighted because it took away a lot of the strain from the cancer treatment.

'We have seen quite a lot of cancer in the family - we have lost three grandparents between us, my mum has been treated for it, as have Anita's parents, who have lost an aunt. That makes it more personal for us all.'

Mrs Wilson said she was 'touched' by what her husband was putting himself through in the fight against the disease.

'It is difficult to put into words,' she said. 'Even once you finish treatment the emotional journey continues.

'It must be so difficult to watch a loved one go through the trauma of cancer; worse in a way.'

She added if women recognise any changes in their bodies they should get it checked out immediately.

'A lot of people assume you have to have a lump, but I knew something was wrong long before that,' she said.

To donate visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DaveWilson-Norfolk

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