Retired nurse with terminal cancer encourages others to 'walk all over' the disease

Fee Sharples, 65, from Hardingham and her husband John on a boat

Fee Sharples, 65, from Hardingham and her husband John on a boat - Credit: Sharples Family

A Norfolk nurse, who helped others for almost half a century, is encouraging people to "walk all over cancer" this March after her stage 4 breast cancer spread.

Fee Sharples, from Hardingham aged 21 when she first qualified as a nurse

Fee Sharples, from Hardingham aged 21 when she first qualified as a nurse - Credit: Sharples Family

After spending a lifetime on her feet supporting people, Fee Sharples, 65, from Hardingham, now finds walking painful after her stage 4 breast cancer spread to her pelvis. 

The grandmother of two, who has raised over £10,000 for Cancer Research UK since being diagnosed in 2014, is encouraging people to sign up and get sponsored to walk 10,000 steps every day in March to support the charity.

Mrs Sharples, who qualified as a nurse in 1974, found out she had cancer during a routine mammogram.

Fee and her grandson, Benji

Fee and her grandson, Benji - Credit: Submitted

"My diagnosis came as a huge shock," she said. "It was found that cancer had spread to my neck lymph nodes and my bones. 

“My daughter Sarah was getting married six months later and we all wondered if I would make the wedding.

“In some ways, I consider myself a medical miracle because here I am nearly seven years later."

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Since being diagnosed, the nurse has had three different types of hormone therapy and has also taken part in a Cancer Research UK-funded trial.

The 65-year-old said: “In January 2020 I started an AstraZeneca trial, this lasted for nine months until the cancer spread into my pelvis.

“I know my cancer can never be cured but my treatments and wonderful care have allowed me more time with my husband, son, daughter and my grandsons."

Fee’s is planning more fundraising initiatives to support life-saving research.

Fee and her grandson Hamish

Fee and her grandson Hamish - Credit: Submitted

She explained: “I would love to take part in Walk All Over Cancer but as it’s just not possible I’m working on other ways I can continue to support the charity.

“Thanks to research, I’m still here today and can go on enjoying time with my family. That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to step up to the 'Walk All Over Cancer' challenge.”

Patrick Keely, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the East, said: “The truth is COVID-19 has slowed us down, but we will never stop striving to create better treatments for tomorrow.

"Every step our scientists take towards beating cancer relies on our supporters, that’s why we need everyone to step up to Walk All Over Cancer.”

To sign up and receive a free fundraising pack, with tips and ideas to help with the challenge, visit cruk.org/walkallover.

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