Norwich hairdresser’s epic trek to help to beat cancer

Laura Hughes is doing a 58km trek across Iceland to raise money for charity.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Laura Hughes is doing a 58km trek across Iceland to raise money for charity.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It will be a gruelling three-day trek, across steaming lava fields, deep fjords and steep volcanic ridges.

But for Laura Hughes, the 58km walk she is planning across some of Iceland's most hostile terrain will not just be the toughest physical challenge she has ever faced – it will also be a significant milestone in her recovery from breast cancer.

The 27-year-old, from Ipswich Road, Norwich, was diagnosed with the condition in February 2014, and endured months of intensive treatment, including chemotherapy and a mastectomy.

She is undertaking the Iceland challenge to promote awareness of the importance of young women checking for signs of cancer, and also to raise money for charity.

The trek, starting on August 7, will take place exactly two years after her cancer went into remission.

'I'm doing this to see if I can complete it and to get my fitness back,' she said.

'But it is also about raising aware-ness and money for a charity which does such good work in educating people about the signs.

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'I am very excited and a bit nerv-ous about it all, but I think I will feel more prepared near to the time.'

Miss Hughes was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump while travelling in Australia in February 2014. On her return to the UK it was found to be an aggressive tumour which grew by three centimetres in two-and-a-half weeks.

After various courses of treatment, she was told the cancer had gone into remission the following August.

However, she still had to go through reconstructive surgery and medication.

She said: 'Throughout the treatment I was very poorly and it was extremely tough. But after going through something like that you realise how remarkable the body is at repairing itself.

'I was convinced I would never feel normal again, but the body does and you do get over the hair loss and the tiredness, and you realise you are stronger and tougher than you think you are.'

Miss Hughes will be joined by around 50 other people taking part in the challenge in August.

She is hoping to raise at least £2,500 for the breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! prior to leaving.

In the coming months she hopes to improve her fitness in preparation for the event.

During the challenge the team will be walking up to 11 hours a day and camping during the night.

Miss Hughes added: 'I am generally fit-ish, but it is certainly going to test my ability for hill walking.

'And the last time I went camping was when I was 15 on a camp site, so this will be interesting.'

To sponsor Laura visit https://icelandcoppafeel.everydayhero.com/uk/laura-iceland-trek

Are you embarking on an unusual challenge? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684 with the details.

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