‘Sisters’ with incurable cancer join lockdown Race for Life
- Credit: Simon Dack/Vervate/PA Wire
A 32-year-old woman living with incurable cancer is hoping to inspire people to keep up the fight against the disease during the coronavirus pandemic by taking part in Race for Life at home.
Laura Middleton-Hughes, from Norwich, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 after finding a lump in her left breast while on a holiday to Australia. She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy, recovered well and returned to an active life.
But in April 2016, she began to feel pain in her right shoulder. A scan revealed not only a fracture but a tumour that had overtaken the head of the humerus.
MORE: One of first NHS cancer patients to be treated at private hospital praises ‘phenomenal’ staffShe underwent a shoulder replacement, which caused her agonising pain, and then started chemotherapy. She had to give up her job as a hairdresser.
“I will now remain on drugs for the rest of my life in order to control the spread of the disease,” said Ms Middleton-Hughes. “I will never be free of cancer now, but I know that the drugs keeping it under control are only here because of research.
“It’s only through continued research and treatment that many people like me can still enjoy a full and active life.”
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While online cancer, she met Nicky Newman, also 32, from Guildford, Surrey, who had also been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.
After being told the news that their cancer was incurable, the two women set up an upbeat, online community called Secondary Sisters, to support anyone going through a similar journey.
Now the pair are encouraging people to take on Cancer Research UK’s coronavirus lockdown alternative, Race for Life at Home challenge.
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Race for Life events have been postponed in large numbers around the UK during the coronavirus outbreak. Instead Race for Life at Home means people can do their own event whenever and wherever it suits them.
MORE: Cyclist, 78, inspired by Captain Tom taking on 2.6 challengeFor Ms Newman, this is to move in some form every day. She said: “I recently found out I have a partial collapse in my spine, due to the cancer having a nibble, so high impact exercise is a no-go for me.
“But that doesn’t mean I can’t still get active. I am aiming to ‘move’ every day, whether that’s half an hour on the cross trainer or a gentle yoga practice.”
Ms Newman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. She and husband Alex had been trying for a baby for a year and were half way through IVF treatment when she found a lump, which was cancerous.