Beating bowel cancer together

"Cancer really had picked the wrong girl"

Monday 21 February 2022

Clare Park was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in April 2020 but that didn't stop her and her best friend taking part in Step up for 30 in 2021.

On 6 April 2020 I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer. BANG, in a split second my world imploded, no one ever expects to hear that diagnosis. I was sent for more tests and the situation got worse, not better. Hearing the words metastatic (meaning it's spread beyond the bowel) and incurable, it was like having an out of body experience. But within seconds, still sat there in front of my oncology team, I knew that I was going to come out fighting.

Cancer really had picked on the wrong girl!

And fight I have, in the first year I had over six months of chemotherapy as well as major surgery. The recovery was tough, but by the New Year I was starting to feel more like me. I started back at work in March 2021 which was another huge milestone reached. I don't think anyone thought I'd get to that point.

While I was back to feeling good after a tough year I wanted to do something to help a charity that does an amazing job helping others in similar situations to me. Alongside my partner in crime Kate Baxter (my forever wine friend), I took part in Step up for 30 last year. It essentially entails exercising every day for the month of April.

Throughout the month we ran lots, got our Joe Wicks fix on, cycled or did some yoga each and every day. We also had friends and family joining us for guest slots throughout the month which was amazing as having people alongside you each day keeps the motivation going. In the end we raised an incredible amount, just over £12,000 for the charity. I will be forever grateful for the generosity shown by family, friends, colleagues and friends of friends!

Exercise every day this April as part of Step up for 30. It's your challenge, your way – simply get active and get sponsored. Sign up today.

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