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Nadjie is an ambassador for our partnership with Liv Cycling: a bike brand focussed on women. Liv are supporting us by donating 100% of the profits from their limited-edition Alight 3 Disc bike. They are also raising awareness of how you can help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by being physically active on a regular basis.
Nadjie is a testament to the health benefits of cycling: here she tells her story and offers an inspiring message to anyone affected by breast cancer treatment, and everyone who has thought about getting into cycling.
I used to cycle as a child and a young adult, but family and work commitments put this on the backburner. I got back into cycling around 2012.
I signed up in January 2015 for Women vs Cancer: Ride the Night as I really wanted to support the fundraising effort for women’s cancers, then got diagnosed with breast cancer the next month.
I decided to continue cycling throughout my treatment. I did Ride the Night two months after a mastectomy and my first round of chemotherapy, and in between six rounds of chemotherapy.
Lots of women I met on the ride had already had breast cancer, were in treatment for it, or had family members diagnosed. It was really hard, but I did it, and I got a real sense of achievement from it. Being in treatment for breast cancer made me so much more determined to complete the ride and raise important funds for Breast Cancer Now and other charities.
Cycling gave me a purpose and a goal, and helped me both mentally and physically. When I was on my bike I was free and could lose myself in the ride, the outdoors, and the beautiful scenery.
Cycling doesn’t end when you get breast cancer. For me, it turned my life around.
When I think back to when I was first diagnosed, it really was a lifeline for me, and I hope for some people it’ll be a lifeline for them because they’ll see light at the end of the tunnel to help their recovery.
I want to encourage women with breast cancer to feel fantastic, enjoy cycling and make it a lifelong activity.
Cycling has become a lot more inclusive, not just if you’ve got a major health condition like breast cancer, but for women who feel they’re too old, or not fit enough. There are so many groups you can join that are so inclusive. Give it a go, I’m sure you will love it.
I speak to many women about what learning to ride and cycling means to them. They all say that they feel free and love the feeling that being outside and exercise gives you.
If you can already cycle, nationally British Cycling run mixed and women-only cycle groups that are free to attend, for different abilities and distances. If you’d like to learn to ride then check out what's available through your local council. Most provide two (or more) free lessons.
I have many friends who cycled through their cancer treatment and have gone on to achieve amazing things.
Being physically active is great for your physical and mental health. While nothing can be done to change the biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer, namely being a woman and getting older, there are things people can do to reduce their chances of developing the disease, such as taking part in regular physical activity or exercise.
Current UK guidelines recommend adults do around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, and cycling is a great way of achieving this.
If you’re struggling to re-adjust after a breast cancer diagnosis, we have a range of services that could be helpful for you.