Prior to her breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, Tracy was an avid runner. This year she's getting back into running and taking on the Great North Run. Here, Tracy talks about why she was inspired to join Team Now.
My name is Tracy Nicholls and I am 49 years old. I have always been a keen runner and have taken part in a number of half-marathons, before completing my first marathon in October 2012. This year, I'm running the Great North Run and have chosen to fundraise for Breast Cancer Now for a very personal reason.
On 30 October 2013, I received the devastating news that I had breast cancer. The following 10 months were some of the most traumatic of my life. I endured two lots of surgery within a month, six months of chemotherapy, and one month of radiotherapy. I am now on a drug called Tamoxifen and will be for the next five years.
During this time sometimes I would feel totally broken, both emotionally and physically. My family and close friends were a huge support to me, but it doesn’t matter how much they say they know what you are going through – they don’t really. I turned to Breast Cancer Care for the help and support I needed to get me through the dark days.
Running for the future
This year I wanted to support research that is working hard to put an end to breast cancer. I hope that in the future breast cancer will be more easily treatable and that the treatments offered will be less invasive to the individuals who have to endure them. This is why Breast Cancer Now is such an important charity to raise money for – they are the UK’s leading breast cancer research charity and they believe that if we all act now, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.
Fundraising and celebrating
I have returned to my passion of running but unfortunately, I do not have the energy I once had and it is particularly difficult to get motivated some days owing to the joint pains I have on Tamoxifen and the general fatigue. However, I am alive and it is now time for me to give something back to the people that saved my life. This helps keep me going during tough training days.
When I got through my treatment, I vowed to do at least one fundraising event each year for breast cancer research. Last year I took part in the Women V Cancer Ride the Night Challenge (a 100km cycle ride) and I raised over £1,000. I've already started my fundraising for this year's Great North Run in September. I'm holding a 50th Birthday Bash and will be having a fundraising table at my party so that guests can donate and sponsor me if they wish – no pressure! I will also be having a cake sale at work in the summer to help raise as much as I can.
If, like Tracy, you think the time to act is now, sign up for your challenge event today!