Celebrating breast cancer recovery ‘I now appreciate every little thing’

Carol East and grandson Louis SUS-180530-124834001
Carol East and grandson Louis SUS-180530-124834001

An inspirational Hastings mum will be walking a half-marathon around London next month to celebrate her recovery from breast cancer.

Retired retail manager Carol East will be taking part in the first ever Dream Challenge Walk The Night on July 14, to raise funds to support people affected by Breast and Prostate Cancer.

Carol, 54 was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015. A mammogram revealed she had advanced stage 3 breast cancer. Since undergoing her final operation in December 2017, Carol is looking forward to tackling a new challenge in order to raise funds and awareness for others going through a similar situation. To support her, Carol’s husband Steve will also take part. Ironically, the couple met through running a half marathon together in 1982.

When Carol went along for her regular check up at the doctors, she never thought that symptoms associated with breast cancer would be discovered. Further tests confirmed the diagnosis and in January 2015 Carol was told she had advanced stage 3 breast cancer. She had a mastectomy eight weeks later and began a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy immediately afterwards. The breast reconstruction process began in September 2017 once Carol had regained her strength from the chemotherapy.

Throughout treatments, Carol says she and husband Steve were determined to continue their lives as normal so she wouldn’t miss out on activities that she loved, such as attending gigs and weekends away. “At first, I didn’t want to go out and wanted to hide indoors,” she said. “But I realised that I was constraining myself and not properly enjoying my life. I decided that I didn’t want to let cancer bring me down, so I got outside and began doing all the things that I really enjoy.”

Carol’s three-year-old grandson, Louis, also acted as inspiration for Carol to recover; she was determined to fight to witness him growing up. She said: “I wanted to set myself the challenge of completing an event to mark my recovery, and to celebrate the end of my treatments. The Walk the Night challenge stood out as it allows me to take part with my husband in the half marathon distance, whilst taking in the landmark sights of London. I met Steve through running back in 1982. It is amazing that once again we can take part in the activity that brought us together 35 years ago! Unfortunately, this time I won’t be able to run as neurological problems left me needing the occasional support of a wheelchair. That doesn’t matter though, we will still complete the event together. I now appreciate every little thing. Every day I wake up and realise how lucky I am to have such amazing family and friends.” Visit: www.dream-challenges.com

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