A cancer nurse, who lost her mum to the disease just days after giving birth to her first baby – and was then diagnosed with it herself during her second pregnancy – is fighting back by entering Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at Clumber Park.
Julie Nyamande, 32, of Mansfield, will be the guest of honour at the Worksop event on Saturday, 21st June.
And she is urging mums, daughters, sisters and friends to take on cancer by entering either the 5k or 10k events at Clumber Park over the weekend of 21st and 22nd June, or Pretty Muddy on Sunday 13th September.
She will be taking part in memory of her mum with a group of 15-20 family and friends, including colleagues from the hospice and they hope to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.
The mum-of-two was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 after finding a lump in her breast. At the time she was 35 weeks pregnant with her youngest child Ethan, who is now six-months old.
Julie, from Mansfield, said: “I instinctively knew something was wrong and went to my GP and requested a referral.”
“It turned out it was a grade three tumour and had I not been diagnosed, I might not be here now.”
Two weeks after being given the devastating news Julie was induced and baby Ethan was born by natural delivery. Just five days later she was admitted back into hospital for a lumpectomy, to remove the tumour, and lymph nodes removed.
She added: “It was supposed to be a happy time with the birth of Ethan, but I immediately had to go back to hospital.”
Not only was it a difficult time for Julie coming to terms with her diagnosis and the treatment while trying to care for a newborn baby, but because it also brought up a lot of painful memories of her mum, who died of cancer shortly after the birth of her first child Amelia in 2006.
“I lost my mum to a brain tumour just five days after giving birth to Amelia (now seven),” Julie continued.
“She actually arrived a few days early which was wonderful as mum got the chance to hold her first grandchild, but she then passed away on the original delivery due date.”
“It was an incredibly hard time. I was supposed to be celebrating my new baby but I was grieving for my mum at the same time.”
“When Ethan was born I couldn’t believe that here I was again. At a time that I should have been enjoying my new baby, I was worrying about cancer.”
“But this time, it was actually me going through it.”
“My husband Nigel has been so amazing and all the staff on the breast unit and the chemotherapy unit at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield, where I was treated, have been so supportive to myself and Nigel.”
Despite everything she has been through Julie feels “blessed to have been given a second chance”.
Since giving birth and having surgery she has had chemotherapy and is currently receiving a course of radiotherapy, which is due to finish at the end of May, just a month before the Race for Life event at Clumber Park.
“Taking part in Race for Life is my way of hitting cancer where it hurts,” she said.
“I will have not long finished my treatment so I may be walking not running, but I will have my loyal supporters with me.”
“I’m so grateful for the research that’s helped me and now I want to help others by supporting Cancer Research UK’s work.”
For anyone thinking of taking part I’d say stop thinking and just do it.”
To enter Race for Life’s 5k, 10k or Pretty Muddy visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0845 6006050.