As 2023 fast approaches, the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity team are looking forward to marking World Cancer Day in Liverpool City Centre once again. After an incredibly successful first year, the team are welcoming back their fantastic Glow Green Night Walk and will be taking their supporters on another brilliant 8K walk across the city. Taking on this fantastic event is Katie Kelly, who is undergoing treatment at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool following a diagnosis of cervical cancer just 5 months ago. At just 38, Katie flew over from the Isle of Man to begin 5 weeks of chemotherapy, external radiotherapy and three sessions of brachytherapy to help treat her cancer.
“Having avoided doctors and hospitals my entire life, due to a huge phobia of anything remotely medical my biggest fear was not the fear of cancer, but of actually having to turn up for a doctors’ appointment. There was no way I would even book an appointment myself, never mind get myself there or see it through, despite knowing how serious this could be. Like so many people, I still believed that everything would be ok; cancer was something that happened to other people, not me.
The overwhelming fear of actually walking in to a hospital, meeting doctors and nurses was still crippling, but had now been joined by an equally overwhelming fear of what cancer was going to mean not only for me, but for my family. It was the thought of not seeing our boys grow up and make their own way in life, not going on the holidays we talked about and leaving them to fend for themselves which made me realise I had to find the strength to get on with whatever I needed to do to beat my cancer.” says Katie.
With seven weeks of treatment ahead of her, Katie was feeling a mixture of apprehension and nerves but was blown away by how she was made to feel and was treated when entering the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre – Liverpool. From taking the time to explain everything to ensuring that she knew all of the side effects of her treatments, Katie was soon beginning to feel that she was on the road to recovery.
“I’d like to be able to say the whole process was this easy, but it did get harder as time went on and I felt more and more tired. The team at Clatterbridge were fantastic in helping me deal with any side effects; no question was too daft, no problem too small and it was such a relief to know that they were at the end of the phone any time we needed them. Having lived my entire life convinced that hospitals and all the people who worked there were to be avoided at all costs, I came to realise just how wrong I had been. I have met the kindest, most caring people this year and as desperate as I was to get to the end of my treatment and to go home, I did feel mixed emotions walking out of the hospital on that last day.” says Katie.
Whilst Katie’s journey isn’t over yet, she will be taking on the Charity’s Glow Green Night Walk to say thank you and to help the Charity fund more incredible projects to help support patients like herself. Katie has so far raised more than £850 for the Charity, and is determined to keep going. 1 in 2 people will develop cancer in their lifetime, and it’s thanks to donations like this that the Charity is able to fund its Arts in Health programme which offers a range of arts activities and workshops which relieve boredom, improve mood and reduce anxiety for patients at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
Clatterbridge Cancer Charity see supporters take on events throughout the UK and has something for everyone. Take a look at www.clatterbridgecc.org.uk and sign up to support the 1 in 2 who need cancer care in our area right now.