A BREAST cancer survivor from Kidlington is urging women to feel confident about mastectomies, as she prepares to inspire hundreds before a charity race.
Daphne Norridge is leading the charge for women against cancer by being the guest of honour at this year’s Race for Life in Oxford.
She will speak to the thousands of women running the 5km Race for Life through Oxford University Parks to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The 50-year-old, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, said: “I found a small lump when I was examining myself.
“My GP didn’t think it was anything serious, so I wasn’t worried when I went for my tests at the John Radcliffe, and went by myself.
“By the end of the day I’d been told I had cancer.”
In March 2010 she had her first mastectomy, removing her right breast, and after more treatment decided in December to remove her left as well.
The mother-of-two said: “I felt like I didn’t know what the future held and I didn’t want to spend any more time in hospital recovering from reconstructive surgeries. I didn’t want to put myself through that.
“It is a very personal decision to make.
“It is really important for some women to have reconstruction surgery but I don’t believe enough women feel empowered not to. It is okay not to have breasts.
“I find it positive and liberating and I want to show other women it is okay to feel that as well”.
Since treatment, Mrs Norridge, who was a childminder but now hosts teenage foreign students, has run the Oxford Race for Life four times.
This year she will hold a microphone, not a water bottle.
As the guest of honour she will go up on stage to share her story and talk about how research has helped to discover better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.
Mrs Norridge, married to workshop manager Tim, 55, said: “I want to put a face to the fundraising. It’s easy to forget this is going to people, not just a cause.”
Simon Burley, Race for Life Oxford event manager, said: “Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its ground-breaking work but has spent over £120m in the last five years in Oxford on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.
“Every week about 12 people in Oxford hear the words, ‘you have cancer’, and every week five in Oxford die from it.
“Our ambition is to see three in four people in Oxford survive their cancer within the next 20 years – but we need public support to help get us there”.
Last year 6,165 women took part in Oxford’s Race for Life and raised more than £362,500.
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