Exercise Helped me Beat Breast Cancer

Helen Weller, 36, ran a half marathon just one month after being given the all-clear from the disease.

‘One of the first questions I asked my oncologistwas if I could run a marathon mid treatment.I wasn’t allowed, but I did keep up with myrunning and kickboxing every week. All thepeople at the gym knew what was goingon and it helped me to have their support. Further down the line,when the days got really tough and I wasn’t able to go running ordo kickboxing, I’d walk around the block in my pyjamas becauseI just wanted to get out of the house and keep moving. Exercisereally helped me with the fatigue from my treatment. I knew a lotof people who would just sit at home and not do anything, butI think that keeping moving helped me not just with the fatiguebut other side effects, too. After my first chemo session, Iwent for a 30-mile bike ride!’


‘Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2014,I was looking at doing courses to become a PT. When Iwas diagnosed, I put that on the back burner to concentrateon getting better. Once I’d recovered [her treatment endedin November 2015], I decided I needed to do somethingfor myself, so I signed up for a course in October 2016 andstarted it in January 2017. It was an eight-week intensive one andI completed it, passed and, within less than a month, I got a job asa personal trainer with fitness company KBPT (kbpersonaltraining.co.uk) in East London. Now I couldn’t be happier, and I think that itwas the best thing for me. It was terrifying changing my career froman event manager, but it’s working out so far.’

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‘In February 2015, I had surgery and in April 2015, I was told thecancer had been completely removed from my body. One monthlater, I ran the Hackney half-marathon. I was doing a lot of trainingholding my boobs because the surgeon advised me not to do anyrunning for three weeks – but I went out anyway. They were onlyshort runs, but I needed to get out as I had sat down for longenough. The Hackney Half was my goal and then, a couple ofmonths later, I did the Berlin marathon. Since then, I’ve done threemarathons and, in May 2016, I ran an ultra-marathon, which startedin London and finished in Brighton. I ran 100K (two-and-a-halfmarathons) in 16 hours and 20 minutes. I’ve also just done a24-hour relay race with my sister and some friends.‘Next on the agenda is doing six marathons in six weeks,starting in September – one in Dunstable, one in Richmond,one in Nottingham and one in the New Forest. Another is apyjama run so I’ll be dressing up in my night wear, and the lastone will be the Race for Life marathon in Lee Valley, in October.So throughout September, I’ll be doing a marathon every weekend,which I’m doing for Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Care.’Helen is supporting Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in partnership with Tesco. Run,walk or jog in one of over 300 nationwide events this summer – 5k or marathon – everypound raised, from £10 to £100, will help beat cancer. Sign up now at raceforlife.org.

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