A BRAVE mum battling incurable cancer is hoping a spontaneous video of her and her best friend singing ‘carpool karaoke’ will go viral to help raise awareness of World Cancer Day.
Kerry Burton from Rugby was given two years to live in 2012 after the breast cancer she thought she’d beaten returned.
The 45-year-old air ambulance assistant defied the odds by beating the disease two more times before it returned a fourth time in August last year.
Now Kerry – wife to Shaun and mum to Lucy, 19, and James, 17 – wants to show how it’s possible to live a full life with cancer despite the worst diagnosis imaginable.
To mark World Cancer Day on Saturday (February 4), she teamed up with her best friend Kate Sawyer to create a touching video for Cancer Research UK – and show it’s possible to have fun even during chemotherapy.
At the end of the film Kerry and Kate urge people to donate to help fund life-saving research – without which, Kerry wouldn’t be here now.
Kerry said: “Thanks to our amazing scientists and doctors, there are more people living with cancer now than ever before and that’s what I really want to show; you can LIVE with cancer.
“It opens your eyes to other things and makes you want to live differently. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and that’s what I hope the video will show.”
The impromptu video came about after Kerry and Kate were filming a few short clips in the cancer unit at the University Hospital Coventry to illustrate the normality of chemotherapy treatment.
Kerry takes up the story: “We were on our way home when my all-time favourite song – Reach for the Stars – came on.
“I could resist hitting record and singing along. My voice is a bit croaky but it shows the ‘other’ reality of cancer treatment.
“People can get the impression it’s all doom and gloom but it’s not. It is possible to have fun, even on treatment days.”
Despite ongoing chemotherapy Kerry has continued working for the Air Ambulance Service in Rugby three days a week, and she and Shaun have bought the campervan they have always wanted.
“I’m taking things more slowly but I also have to live life, make memories and have a good time with those I love most,” added Kerry.
Paula Young, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Warwickshire, said: “I was blown away by Kerry’s video which is a perfect example of how one small act of unity can make a big difference.
“I hope Kerry’s incredible story inspires others to get involved. So many of us know someone affected by cancer, and wearing a Unity Band or donating is a simple and easy way to show solidarity.
“Survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress – but every step our doctors, nurses and scientists take relies on donations from the public and the tireless fundraising of our supporters.”
Cancer Research UK Unity Bands come in three different colours, and are available in the charity’s shops or online for a suggested donation of £2. proceeds will fund life-saving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.