Local mum Kelly Bird will be running in the half-marathon to support the hospital which helped her beat breast cancer.
Kelly explained: “I will be joined by a group of 45 friends,along with three children taking part in the mini run, all running as part of TEAM BIRD.
“In January 2017, I had a dull ache under my arm pit which came and went. Due to a history of breast cancer in the family, my mum thought it best to get it checked even though we thought it was probably nothing. The GP referred me for further tests, again thinking it was unlikely to be anything sinister as there was no lump or other symptoms. It therefore came as a huge shock on March 22 when I was diagnosed with early stage Grade 2 breast cancer.
“As a 34-year-old mum of 4 young children, I was obviously devastated and our whole world was turned upside down. However, I was referred to The Royal Marsden Cancer Specialist hospital in Sutton and they were amazing.
“From the moment I stepped into the hospital I was treated with outstanding care, compassion and reassurance. I underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node clearance followed by 8 sessions of chemotherapy and 4 intense weeks of radiation. I am now on long term medication but was given the all clear just before Christmas.
“I began to fundraise in the summer during the treatment because I wanted to give something back to this amazing hospital. I held an afternoon tea and a disco night, raising almost £6.500.
“Following my diagnosis, I had decided I needed to make some life changes and adopt a new healthier way of living. I changed my diet and began to run! Some friends and family joined me for support and I thought the Hastings Half Marathon was something good to aim for – something I had never dreamed I would be able to achieve.
“Once I decided to take part, friends and family started to volunteer to join me and TEAM BIRD was born. We have taken part in some smaller runs as part of training – many of the team have never run before and so it has been a big learning curve for us all. We are so grateful to the local trainers who have helped us and completing the half marathon will be a huge accomplishment!
“As March 18 approaches, we are gaining more and more sponsors and hope to raise a good amount for this fantastic charity. We will all be wearing the Royal Marsden vests on the day so please give us a cheer if you see us! If anyone would like to sponsor us you can visit our Just-Giving page : www.justgiving.com/fundraising/team-bird.”
Benefit from an ongoing discount on your Observer series titles by joining our voucher membership scheme. Once you’ve subscribed we’ll send you dated vouchers which can be exchanged for your paper at any news outlet. To save money on your Observer simply click here (www.localsubsplus.co.uk)