Emma Lane has already taken part in the Great North Run an incredible seven times, but this year’s race holds a particularly special significance.
Back in 2006 I found a lump in my right breast and was diagnosed at 28 with triple negative breast cancer. The diagnosis was followed by a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and I thought that was the end of it. But at the beginning of last year I discovered that I am BRCA1+ and have since had a mastectomy followed by reconstruction and there’s still more surgery to come. But until then it’s back to training, by the time I run the Great North Run this year, for the seventh time, I will have just passed 10 years in remission.
Ready to take on a new challenge
While I was having treatment several friends kept asking what I was going to do when it was all finished: climb Mount Everest, swim the channel and all sorts of other bizarre and extreme things.
I remember when I was young, sitting and watching the masses crossing the Tyne Bridge on a Sunday morning in all elements making their way to South Shields to complete the Great North Run. And every year I thought, ‘one day’, knowing full well it was never going to happen as the furthest I’d ever run was to the bus stop, and even then only when absolutely necessary.
But it turns out things change, and after nine months of running circuits around Whickham, I stood on the start line in September 2008 ready to take on a new challenge. So I had done it once, why not keep going.
Taking my running further
I’ve missed a few since - in 2013 I went travelling and last year I had just had surgery - but I’m back. This year I have taken the running more seriously, joining Blaydon Harriers Senior Womens group and have a couple of other runs planned, starting with the Blaydon Race.
Running has become an integral part of my life, and has played a massive part in keeping me sane between hospital appointments and waiting on test results. It is a reminder that, despite what my body has been through, I’ve come out the other end in many ways fitter and stronger.
I have run for Breast Cancer Now every year, raising funds so that no one else has to go through what I have, and for those that have been diagnosed to give them the best possible chance of survival. Not everyone is as lucky as I have been.
Why it's so important
I have set up a JustGiving page, and am hoping to raise over £250. Sadly pretty much everyone I know, knows someone else that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection is key for treatment, so in addition to raising funds I want to raise awareness. Treatment is tough but you can come out the other side ready to take on whatever life has to throw at you and you’re not alone.
Do you have your own place in the Great North Run? It’s not too late to run on behalf of Breast Cancer Now.