POLICE officer Kate Green refuses to take a day off work when offered, which is unusual in itself. However, when you also consider the fact she is a cancer survivor who refused to stop policing throughout her treatment, choosing to wear a black bandana w
POLICE officer Kate Green refuses to take a day off work when offered, which is unusual in itself.
However, when you also consider the fact she is a cancer survivor who refused to stop policing throughout her treatment, choosing to wear a black bandana with her uniform to cover the loss of her long, blond locks, it is exceptional.
Last week Kate, 22, officially unveiled the new Cancer Research UK Wishes card and gift store in Hitchin, one of only 15 outlets of its kind.
Profits from the shop, staffed by volunteers, will go towards helping the charity fund research into the disease, treatments and cures.
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Kate knows better than anyone the importance of fundraising, treatment and support. She is currently in remission, her hair is growing again and she is able to work her new area of Stevenage without anyone realising her past.
Kate spent months working her Hitchin territory without skipping a beat after she was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 20.
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The courageous copper who lives with her mum and step-dad, Lucy Eaglen, 48, and Paul Eaglen, 49, was one of only between 130 and 190 young adults, aged 20-24 that get the illness each year, only around nine to 14 per cent of the total number of sufferers.
She said: "I didn't know anything about Hodgkin's lymphoma when I found a lump in my neck just before Christmas 2004. You don't think about having cancer when you are 20. I told my mum and we agreed it was probably a fatty lump."
Kate was referred to Lister Hospital by her GP and after surgically removing the lump they told her the results. The news meant nothing to her, having no knowledge of the disease, but when they explained it was cancer it hit home.
After being referred to Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, for specialised treatment she agreed to take part in a trial whereby she had chemotherapy every week for three months rather than every two weeks for six months.
She wanted to get the treatment over and done with as soon as possible, but radiotherapy followed the chemotherapy and she had to come to terms with losing her locks.
Kate agreed to have her hair shaved off for charity and raised £700 for Cancer Research UK. She believes that all her experiences battling cancer have made her stronger, but that she couldn't have done it without her supporters.
She said: "My friends and family were amazing throughout. I didn't think I could have done it without their support."
The only time the issue surfaced was while dealing with an aggressive patient at Lister who was waiting to be seen for a minor problem.
Police officer Kate tried to reason with and calm him.
She said: "I explained that everyone was doing their job to the best of their ability and he would be dealt with after others who needed help more. When he started shouting and swearing at me I told him I had cancer and I wished I only had his health problem."
However, the plucky police officer sees herself as just one of many, carrying on with her life as best she can.
She said: "At the time I did not realise how ill I was. Going to work was my way of coping. I would come off a night shift and go straight to hospital for treatment. My bosses wanted me to take time off work, but I wanted to work to take my mind off what was going on.
"I got increasingly tired as my treatment progressed, but I could not imagine sitting at home all day thinking about what was wrong.
"My job is so busy I did not have time to think about it and that helped."
The effect the disease has had on Kate will never go away, but again she remains positive in her attitude.
She said: "Having cancer has been a major thing in my life. I did not see it as a hugely bad thing, mainly because I did not understand what was involved. I look at everything differently now, having cancer has changed my life."
Supt Adrian Walter, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, applauds her determination.
He said: "We understand the traumatic experience of suffering from a disease such as cancer and credit goes to Kate for continuing to work when she could, despite her often debilitating treatment.
"Granting the request for her to wear a bandana once she had lost her hair was a way of showing her that we would fully support her throughout. I am pleased to see that she is now making her way towards a full recovery.