Letchworth woman on family's cancer ordeal after best friend runs the London Marathon
PUBLISHED: 08:32 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:43 01 May 2018
A Letchworth woman has spoken about the devastating impact cancer has had on her and her family after her best friend completed the London Marathon in their honour.
Louise Wright’s best friend, Jane Bennett, took on the 26.2-mile course last Sunday for Breast Cancer Now – which raises awareness for the illness, and carries out research to find a cure.
Louise got tested for the BRCA gene in 2016 after her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. The 40-year-old was told that not only did she have the gene, but she also had grade three breast cancer – the most invasive form.
As well as having to go through her own diagnosis, Louise’s mum had her ovaries removed as a preventative measure and was shocked to find out that she also had cancer, and another aunt was also diagnosed with the illness.
All four subsequently had to undergo chemotherapy at the same time as each other.
She told the Comet: “Three out of four of us are now on the mend, while one aunt is still undergoing treatment. As a family two years ago this wasn’t even on the radar.
“That’s the thing with BRCA, it hits hard and fast and it went through our family like a machine gun. We were diagnosed one after the other within a short space of time.
“Jane did amazingly well from start to finish. She put her all into it from the moment she signed up and I have never felt more proud. We’ve been friends for decades and it was really emotional to see Jane running a marathon on behalf of me and women going through what I went through. It’s just amazing and I’m in awe of my best friend.
“It almost felt like the end for me as I was discharged from the hospital recently. I had 12 chemotherapy rounds and six operations in the space of a year, including two mastectomies because the first one unfortunately encountered complications with a life threatening infection.
“It was like a celebration for both our 40th birthdays and years of friendship.”
Jane – who lives in Stotfold – finished the race in five hours, four minutes and 40 seconds, and “smiled all the way round”.
She told the Comet: “It was an incredibly emotional day, especially seeing Louise at the finish line. Louise supported me all the way through my training and the way she managed her own treatment inspired me to approach the challenge with strength and determination.
“We are all overwhelmed at how generous people have been and know that their donations will help future generations of Louise’s family.”
Jane has raised around £6,300 for the cause – you can still donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/JaneyBennett2018.