CHARITY MATTERS: Don't wait for cancer to give you motivation

CHARITY MATTERS: Don't wait for cancer to give you motivation

Alison Pitt, left, and Mary Anne Beveridge. Picture: OX52033 Jon Lewis

Alison’s sister Fiona Downs, who has breast cancer

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

WITH just one day to go before the big event, Alison Pitt is urging others to “battle cancer head-on” by joining her in the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbonwalk.

Mum-of-two Mrs Pitt, 45, from Witney, will be among hundreds of men and women taking part in the annual Pink Ribbonwalk through the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, tomorrow.

And it is not too late to join them and do your bit to help breast cancer sufferers.

Mrs Pitt, who is a nurse practitioner at Witney Minor Injuries Unit, said: “I am doing the Pink Ribbonwalk for the first time this year, for my sister Fiona and for friends of mine who are battling breast cancer right now.

“But I wish I had done this before.

“You shouldn’t wait until someone you love is diagnosed with cancer to act, we all just need to get out and do our bit to kick cancer into touch now.”

Mrs Pitt and her family have endured five years of torment since her sister Fiona, 42, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2007.

She said: “Fiona was 36, newly married and thinking of trying for a baby when she found a lump in her breast. She came up from her home in Hampshire, sat myself and my parents down and told us that she had cancer and was going to have her breast removed within the week.

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“I just remember thinking: “Am I going to lose my sister?” which sounds so selfish.

“I was terrified. But she was so calm and ended up saying: “Ali, it’s okay.” Which seems bizarre. The past five years have been a roller-coaster of operations, chemotherapy and one dark year where there were lots of tears.

“But five years on, Fiona is in remission and taking the drug Herceptin to keep her cancer in check.

“She has even managed to return to work full-time and walked the Great Wall of China for charity.

“She is amazing.”

The Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbonwalk sees walkers tackle either a 10- or 20-mile route through the picturesque Blenheim Palace grounds, raising sponsorship for Breast Cancer Care’s continuing support of breast cancer patients.

Mrs Pitt said: “Fiona’s diagnosis has taught me to do things today, not put them off for tomorrow.

“I am doing it with my friend Mary Anne Beveridge and although Fiona can’t be there to watch, I know she is thrilled I am doing it.

“Walking 10 miles is a piece of cake when you consider just what she and the other breast cancer sufferers go through.”

Lucy Thomson, UK walks manager for Breast Cancer Care, said: “Funds raised from the Pink Ribbonwalk enable us to provide information and support services such as our helpline, discussion forums, local events, one-to-one support sessions and website, so that no one need face a breast cancer diagnosis alone.”

  • Individuals and teams are welcome to enter the Pink Ribbonwalk.

Registration costs £30 with a fundraising target of £175.

To register or for more information, go to breastcancercare.org.uk or telephone 0870 145 0101

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