WHEN Kimmy and Sinead Jenkins tackle the Cwmbran Race For Life in June, they will not be pounding around the five-kilometre course.
The mother and daughter will take it easy in their quest to raise money for Cancer Research UK and awareness of the continuing battle against all forms of the disease.
But their support for the Race For Life rallying cry of ‘cancer, we’re coming to get you’ is wholehearted, born of 51-year-old Kimmy’s battle against breast cancer, after a devastating diagnosis last August.
Mrs Jenkins, of St Julians, Newport, who runs a family catering business with husband Gary, was found to have the lobular form of the disease following routine breast screening.
“Had I not gone for my screening, it would be a very different story now. Attending that day, I believe, saved my life, and I would urge all women to take up their screening appointment,” she said.
“I didn’t for a second think I had cancer. I felt fine.”
Lobular breast cancer does not always form a firm lump and can be more difficult to diagnose, and also larger when diagnosed.
Further tests revealed Mrs Jenkins’ cancer had spread to lymph nodes either side of her breasts, and a double mastectomy and chemotherapy were proposed.
Days before her operation however, she found a lump on her collar bone, and cancer fragments were found in her neck, so the operation was cancelled and chemotherapy began immediately.
Though Mrs Jenkins’ disease is not curable, it is controllable through medication, and recently she has been told it has not spread into her bones.
“The last few months have been a whirlwind, and very hard, but I’ve had great support from friends and family,” said Mrs Jenkins.
Sinead, 23, who works for the British Red Cross, said doing the Race For Life with her mum will be very special: “When mum was diagnosed my world fell apart. She is so brave and has been on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but she is a real inspiration to me.
“Throughout all of this she has continued to care for everyone around her and doing this together will be very, very special. I would urge people to take part in their nearest Race For Life.”
The Cwmbran Race For Life takes place at Northfields Recreation Ground on Sunday, June 22, from 11am. More than 300 of the women-only events are planned in the UK from May-September, including in South Wales.
Visit raceforlife.org, or call 0845 600 6050.