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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Barrow woman in bid to stop cancer

A WOMAN facing the prospect of having a double mastectomy has undergone a physical and mental test of a different nature to raise money for a cancer charity.

Barrow-born Holly Pugh, who now lives in Manchester, conquered the 23-mile Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The trek comes as the 37-year-old not only tries to come to terms with the deaths of several close relatives from cancer, but her own genetic predisposition to the disease.

The St Bernard’s School alumni recently lost her uncle, Barrow man Dave Roberts, 62, after a battle with stomach cancer, as well as a half-sister aged just 32 to breast cancer.

Miss Pugh also has two aunts in remission and it is because of this family history – in addition to some scares of her own – that has led her to take drastic preventative measures against the disease.

“I’m at very high risk of breast cancer, so I’m awaiting final details of my mastectomy and reconstruction,” she said.

“So because I’m having major surgery to prevent myself getting breast cancer, I’d like to make people aware that Macmillan isn’t just there for people with cancer.

“Macmillan is also supporting me up until my surgery and the after care as well.”

Miss Pugh and about 10 of her colleagues from Cornerstone Children’s Home in Manchester trained for weeks in preparation for the arduous trek.

They battled through rain and tough conditions to finish the challenge in 13 hours.

She said: “It went really well. It started to rain when we set off at about 6.45am, but it brightened up for the rest of the day.

“It was quite emotional on the way down the last peak. It was pitch black and like a mudslide.

“It was a hard challenge. All the preparation paid off, but I’m in agony now!”

Miss Pugh said she wanted to thank Cornerstone owner Darren Smith for his support in organising the challenge.

Anyone who wishes to donate to Miss Pugh’s fundraising campaign can do so by logging on to https://www.justgiving.com/holly-pugh/.

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