A STRONG-WILLED mum and business-owner who was diagnosed with cancer during lockdown is stepping up to raise money for the nurses who have been supporting her.
Lynne Greaves from Rugby is putting on her walking boots to take part in a charity walk next month – and has already raised over £8,600 in sponsorships for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 51 year old was diagnosed last summer with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer which requires intense treatment.
Not one to sit back and accept her situation, Lynne has been doing all she can to raise money in the hopes of paying back the kindness of the MacMillan nurses to whom she feels she owes so much since her diagnosis.
She said: “My life has changed completely. Effectively, life as I knew it is over and my new life, with cancer as part of the family, starts.
“At first it felt a bit like I got onto a runaway train, and the driver jumped off and there was nothing I can do to control it. And worse still, I took my family on that train with me because everything that happens to me, impacts them too.”
When Lynne learned that one of her clients, logistics company GEFCO, was marking its 40th anniversary by raising £40k for Macmillan Cancer Support through a 40 mile walk from its head office at Prologis Park in July, she saw the perfect opportunity to repay her Macmillan nurses, who work with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.
She said: “Caroline Duignan, my Macmillan Oncology Nurse, has been like having a cross between a guardian angel, a best friend who says it like it is, a wise philosopher and an expert font of knowledge who manages to just make things happen on my behalf.
“I can’t ever thank her enough, she has been a rock and a guiding light, and having her supporting me has just made all the difference to me, to my family and to my current quality of life – and my ability to get my head around it all and move forward.”
Since signing up for the event and finishing her last round of radiotherapy in Easter, Lynne has been walking regularly with friends and family to train up for the event – and has gone well beyond her initial fund-raising target of £1,000.
She says the challenge has helped keep her focused and mentally strong throughout a tumultuous year.
“I’ve had to learn to slow right down, to put health before work, to be grateful for what I have got and what I can do, rather than what I haven’t got or can’t do,” she added.
“I’ve learnt to appreciate each day and not plan too far for the future. It certainly makes you put life into perspective. It’s absolutely terrifying to think about what the future might hold – especially as I have so much to live for.
“Cancer is a disease that affects your whole life, body and soul, and once you’ve had the diagnosis, you soon realise that nothing will ever be the same again.
“Macmillan has already realised that and is there to support you and your family at every step of the way. The NHS is only able to provide the incredible care that it does because of the support of charities such as Macmillan.”
Lynne is one of 150 GEFCO employees and partners taking part in the walk, and the team is currently £4,000 away from its £40,000 target.
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lynnegreavesgefco to sponsor Lynne.