Rebecca tells us her story:

This April I fulfilled a life time ambition and completed my very first marathon.
My motivation for doing it had been strongly influenced by a life changing event.

In December 2016 I visited the doctors after my husband had been nagging me to get a mole on my arm checked. Within a couple of days it had been removed and just after Christmas I was given the devastating news that it was a malignant Melanoma; a ‘nasty’ type of skin cancer. Like all others in this situation, life as I knew it had changed forever.

Following further surgery and several months of scans and rescans, I was told the cancer had been removed and that there were no signs of it having spread. Having regular, as yet uneventful, check ups at the hospital feels like further hurdles overcome. The fear of ‘spreading’ is always in the back of your mind but as time goes on I hope this will lessen. I am very vigilant about self examination at the weekends. I feel fortunate that I am in a position to get on with my life with the strong belief that I will overcome Melanoma, but am equally aware that for many others, this cruel disease will not allow that.

The NHS treatment I received was outstanding throughout and I will never forget the care and compassion I was shown, particularly when breaking the news. I am equally very grateful for the promptness in letting me know the news was more positive.
During the early days after the diagnosis and unawareness of what the outcome might be, I found the Melanoma Uk charity both informative and an invaluable source of support.

It is clear the importance of sun safety and particularly sun cream is becoming more widely appreciated. I do strongly feel that the crucial need to be aware of ‘changes’ to moles requires a much higher profile. Wider education on the ABCDE of changes should be a prime objective. If people are more informed about Melanoma and that it is not just a cancer on the skin that can always be easily removed, they would take skin safety more seriously. It is not a cancer that is well understood.

After I recovered I was determined I would give something back. It then seemed the perfect opportunity to do that marathon I had always dreamed of doing, to raise much needed funds to support the fantastic work of the charity. My desire was to do the London Marathon but I did not get a place in the ballot and the charity is not fortunate enough to have charity places. I therefore trained for and am delighted to say, completed the Greater Manchester Marathon on April 8 2018.

I couldn’t quite believe it but I finished in 3 hours 9 minutes! I managed to be the 33rd women to cross the line, was 8th in my age category and finished 784 out 13800. I was truly amazed by everyone’s generosity of sponsorship and so touched by all the wonderful support. To date I have raised an astonishing £1047.00 for Melanoma UK which I hope in some way will help others who are affected by Melanoma.