Inspirational cancer sufferer from Taverham completes Race for Life challenge two weeks early ahead of surgery
As thousands gear up for this weekend’s Race for Life one inspirational cancer sufferer has already completed the event after surgery forced her to undertake the challenge two weeks early.
Kathryn Dugdale-Evans, of Bell Close, Taverham, was faced with the shock diagnoses of bowel cancer last year - just a day before her 34th birthday - after she went to see her doctor with stomach pains.
Following a quick hospital referral, with hopes that she was just suffering from irritable bowl syndrome, it was soon discovered that the pain was more serious.
She said: “It was a real surprise when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and I was just shocked, especially to get it at my age. There is no history of it in my family either.
“The date of this year’s Race for Life in Norwich would have been a year to the day since my diagnoses so I knew it was going to be emotional anyway - that’s when I thought of taking part.”
Since her diagnoses Mrs Dugdale-Evans has undergone a variety of scans, taken a range of medication and had major surgery to remove tumours in June 2013.
She then endured seven months of chemotherapy and suffered side effects including six anaphylactic shocks and daily nausea and fatigue.
So when her next surgery date was set for April 9, this year, the former general manager of a hotel decided to keep positive by taking part in the UK’s largest women-only fundraiser.
She said: “Training was hideous. One side effect of chemo was taking steroids and they had a massive affected on my joints. I could barely move at first.
“My local gym gave me a month’s free membership though and before I became ill I use to run as a hobby. I gave myself four weeks to train but then I found out my surgery date had been moved to May 7. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the race on the 17th and I was devastated.”
But determined to go ahead with the race and continue raising her sponsorship money she decided to bring the race forward and set up her own 10k on May 4 at Eaton Park.
Joined by 14 of her closest friends and family, with her husband of three years, Lee, 34, cycling by her side, she ran the 10k in one hour and seven minutes and crossed a finishing line creatively made with a roll of toilet paper.
She said: “It was great. I did six laps and each time I went round I could hear my friends and family cheering me on.”
Mrs Dugdale-Evans is now recovery well at home since her operation last week and has manage to raise £865 with her efforts.
Previously completing the 5k Race for Life twice before, for the women taking part in today’s event she added: “I wish everyone the very best on the day. “I am always inspired by the messages on the back of people’s t-shirts and it will be a great feeling for them when they finish. I wish them luck.”
And warning others who may be nervous about getting themselves checked out by their GP, she said: “Any unusual bowel problems you must go to the doctor. Bowel cancer is only screened for the over 60s so people should get themselves checked.”
• To donate to Mrs Dugdale-Evans please visit www.justgiving/kathryn-dugdale-evans.
• Make sure you are send us pictures of you and your friends at the event via the Twitter using #race4life and #norwich, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.iwitness24.co.uk. For live coverage of this weekend’s events log on to our website.
• Do you have an inspiring story to share? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 693892, email email@example.com or follow on Twitter @donnaloubishop.