At the age of 36, Julie Lindley didn’t expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but by sharing her story, the Doncaster local wants to raise awareness of the importance of screening and, in the process, raise money for her selected cancer charity.
Julie said: “When I was diagnosed with breast cancer it was one of the worst days of my life. However, after telling my family and close friends I decided that I would try and get something positive out of it. I announced my news on Facebook and urged people to check themselves and to highlight that this happens to younger people too.”
Close friend, Liz Leggott, practice manager at the Auckley Surgery, was one of the people Julie initially confided news of her illness with, and immediately took up Julie’s challenge of raising awareness of the cancer.
Liz decided to participate in Race for Life, a 5k dash on Town Fields, on behalf of Julie and Cancer Research UK. Unfortunately, before she could take part in the run, the practice manager was diagnosed with a heart condition and underwent surgery to have a pacemaker fitted, with doctors advising against any strenuous activity in the wake of the op.
Downhearted but not willing to give up, Liz nominated old friend, and last-minute hero, Lisa Thomas to champion Julie’s cause, who has since completed the fun-run in just 36 minutes, raising almost £500 in the process.
Lisa said: “When we found out that Julie had breast cancer at such a young age we were so upset and shocked. You realize it can happen but you never expect it to happen to someone you know. At the same time, Liz wasn’t well and was having tests. Only a few weeks later she got the unexpected news that she had a heart problem and needed a pacemaker. Without hesitation I decided to run in Liz’s place and champion this very worthy cause.”
She added: “After we crossed the finish line I have to admit to crying when I saw Liz. I was so relieved to finish but I also knew how much Liz wanted to run herself for her lifelong friend. People have called me a star for stepping in, but for me it was just a run for two people that are bigger stars than me! Next year Julie, Liz and I will be running together.”
Alongside the charity-race, other fundraising activities include Julie’s sister Toni, taking part in the endurance-sapping Pretty Muddy with three other friends, while Liz and, fellow Thorne-local, Louise Savage have vowed to ‘Brave the Shave’ and cut their long locks short in solidarity with Julie’s new look.
Liz said: “We all hope that our combined efforts will not only raise money but raise awareness that this disease does not discriminate and affects all ages – so we’re urging local women to get checked out!”
Julie said: “Although it’s been a challenging couple of months, it’s fantastic to see my friends come together to raise awareness and do something amazing for Cancer Research. It’s so important that people know the signs of and symptoms of cancer and that women in Doncaster go to screening and catch the illness as soon as possible. If I can prompt just one person to be proactive and get checked out, I’ll know all of this will have been worthwhile.”
You can show your support for Julie by donating on their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/lizleggott
The best way to fight breast cancer is early detection, whether through self-examinations or regular mammograms. If you’re worried that your breast pain or tenderness could be something serious, make an appointment with your doctor today.