• Kerry Sutton

Running after breast cancer ~ Hazel Smith

Having watched the finishers of the Race to the King arrive at the Winchester Cathedral in June 2016, I decided that the taking part in a 53 mile endurance event along the South Downs was just what I had been searching for.

What I had not conceived happening is that I would have a diagnosis of stage 3 Breast cancer literally the week I entered to take part in 2017.

This diagnosis came totally out of the blue from having had a minor operation on something totally unrelated.  There I was facing  Chemotherapy in the February to be followed by a large operation to remove the cancer. This was then followed by Radiotherapy.

The days that followed my Operation were filled with utter disbelief that I was so unwell when I felt so fine. But sense was coupled with sheer gratitude that it had been found and that there was a solution.

Throughout my treatment I kept life as simple as possible. Once I started Chemo any hope of taking part in the race in 2017 was slipping away. I was fortunate enough to still work full time which stopped me from becoming totally self absorbed and consumed by my illness and when I could I would get outside I would walk and jog. However, this had become very limited and I was only able to cover about 1 mile at a time.

Kerry became known to me through reading about inspirational people on the Threshold Sports Website.

I finished radiotherapy on September 26th and was going to be put on a daily drug for the next 5 to 10 years. The drugs have very harsh consequences on your body… however they also save your life, so who was I to resist them. I was due to start taking these drugs on October 1st 2017.

At this point I contacted Kerry and asked for help.. Would she consider getting me in some sort of fitness shape to take part in the Race to the Kings non stop in 2018?  I knew this was a tall order as I could hardly walk 100 meters without pain and fatigue.

I have not met Kerry in person but we have been working together since October 1st. I cannot express my gratitude to her for believing that anything is possible. We have progressed over the last 6 months from 100meters to now running 12 miles…. It is a miracle and one which would not have been possible without her constant encouragement and hope.

"You only need to spend a few minutes with Kerry to feel how passionate and dedicated she is to sport and running in particular. Her ultra marathon successes are an inspiration. I’d be happy to recommend her".
Sharron Davis - MBE, Olympic Medalist

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