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Ashton woman opens up about cancer battle after being diagnosed while pregnant

Posted on - 1st February, 2018 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Charities, People, Preston News
Roisin and daughter Ivy

Roisin and daughter Ivy

A Preston mum is to walk a stretch of Hadrian’s Wall after finding out she’s battling cancer for the second time in four years.

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Roisin Pelan, of Ashton-on-Ribble, has spent the last three years in remission but was told by doctors last month that her cancer had returned.

The 36-year-old was first diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago while she was 34 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Ivy, 3.

She said: “The doctors induced my pregnancy at 36 weeks, gave me a mastectomy six days later, and then blasted me with chemo.

“I also went on to have a risk reducing mastectomy a year later on my ‘good breast’, and then reconstruction, which was really tough.”

Since being in remission, Roisin has undergone regular checks to ensure the cancer hadn’t made a return, but she became concerned last August when she had funny feelings behind her left breast and under her arm.

Following some further checks and the discovery of another lump above her collar bone, she went in for an ultrasound, biopsy and a CT scan, only to find out that the cancer had come back.

Roisin was told that the return of her cancer meant she was now at stage 3C, which is quite advanced, and has since been advised that she will be on some form of treatment for the rest of her life.

She said: “They mentioned the words ‘not curable’ and couldn’t answer me when I asked if I would be here in ten years’ time.

“I absolutely fell to pieces. I immediately thought of Ivy – she needs me.

“I couldn’t get out of bed for five days, we cried, I couldn’t eat; I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.”

Read more: Challenge yourself with these fitness events in Preston and raise money for charity

Hearing the words, ‘not curable’ hit Roisin and her family for six, but it’s reading the survivor stories and having a network of support around her that are keeping her motivated to fight the disease.

Within days of being given the news, she was inundated with gifts and words of support from friends, family, and her hundreds of Facebook followers.

She also spoke to a lady who nudged her in the right direction by telling her never to use the word ‘incurable’, so instead, she now uses the word ‘treatable,’ which has a much more positive connotation.

Roisin and partner Michael

Roisin and partner Michael

Not only have her supporters been showering her with well wishes, some of her amazing friends have now taken action into their own hands.

Roisin’s sister-in-law, Lisa Brown, came up with the fantastic idea to give something back and join the cause for finding a cure for cancer.

Setting up a fundraising page, Lisa decided to get a group of defiant women together and attempt the Hadrian’s Wall Hike in association with Race for Life, in aid of Cancer Research.

The group of ladies, who’ve aptly named themselves ‘Roisin’s Rambling Army’, are to set off on the 26-mile hike on Saturday June 9th.

And, they’ve already amassed a battalion of more than 50 women and are well on their way to smashing their £1000 fundraising target, with around £750 raised already.

Taking on Pretty Muddy!

Taking on Pretty Muddy!

Roisin, who’s taken part in fundraisers of this nature in the past, said: “The support has been ridiculous.

“So many people have got involved – around 50 have said they’re interested and 30 have signed up already.

“It’s just so lovely to feel the support of so many beautiful ladies; I’ll be hobbling along the 26-mile walk too.”

Determined to kick cancer where it hurts, Roisin and her family, including partner, Michael Brown, 33, are prepared to do all it takes to ensure she gets to see her little girl grow up, and to beat the disease once and for all.

And as the Hadrian’s Wall Hike is a female only fundraising event, the men in her life thought it only right to do something to show support as well.

Michael and his friends are hoping to arrange, ‘A Mile in her Shoes,’ and will hot-foot it around Avenham Park wearing high heels, before finishing off with a tug of war…still clad in three-inch ankle breakers.

Roisin said: “I’m thinking positively and surrounding myself with fighting talk.

“I am going to be one of those survivor stories. I’m going nowhere!”

For more info on how to support Roisin’s Rambling Army, or to donate to Cancer Research, you can visit her dedicated page.

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