A Fleet mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year is set to walk 10 miles for a charity that supported her during treatment.
Gail Shead will raise funds for Breast Cancer Care at the charity’s Pink Ribbonwalk at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire on May 20.
The 48-year-old found a lump in her breast in 2015 and was told it was benign, but further tests a few months later revealed she had cancer.
“The diagnosis came as a total shock - I had been on a complete rollercoaster,” said Gail.
“I got the best call of my life just before Christmas to say it wasn’t cancer, but then just a few months later they told me it was.
“I didn’t know how I was going to tell my son and my mum. My husband was with me when I was diagnosed and we came home and told my son together.
“My mum was with me when I was originally told it wasn’t cancer but had gone home to Ireland by then.
“I couldn’t tell her over the phone so my sister flew over to Ireland to tell her. My dad died of cancer when he was only 47 and there I was at 47 with a cancer diagnosis.
“My mum came and stayed throughout my treatment and I couldn’t have got through it without the fantastic support from her, my family and wonderful friends.”
Gail had surgery to remove the lump two weeks after her diagnosis, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment, she continued running and walking and lived her life as normally as she could.
“I didn’t want people to look at me as a victim,” she said.
“I found the hardest part was standing in front of someone and telling them because it upset me and made it feel real.”
Gail said the Breast Cancer Care website has been a vital source of information since her diagnosis and she is now looking forward to taking part in the Pink Ribbonwalk with her family and friends.
More than 1,100 people in Hampshire will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and all funds raised at the Pink Ribbonwalks enable the charity to provide care, support and information to them from day one.