After being diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2014, Karen Bloor decided to take on a spectacular challenge: to complete at least one fundraising event each month for a year. She recently took on the Shock Absorber WomenOnly Triathlon for Breast Cancer Care, only three weeks after finishing chemotherapy.
My initial reaction to my diagnosis of breast cancer was one of horror and fear. When I heard the news, I thought I wasn’t going to see my next birthday. I rang Breast Cancer Care’s Support Line and it helped put my mind at rest. I also used the forum and found it very supportive.
After I’d got my head around the fact that I had breast cancer, I needed a focus and something to take my mind off it. I decided I would do a fundraising event every month, for a year.
I chose to fundraise for Breast Cancer Care because they have given me a lot of comfort and I wanted to give something back.
I also thought that by raising money for Breast Cancer Care it would give me a goal and a sense of achievement because I’m helping somebody else. When you know how much a certain amount of money will help Breast Cancer Care, then it makes it even more worthwhile.
Training while going through breast cancer treatment
I work as a police dog handler and this has meant that I’ve always needed to maintain my fitness. Before I was diagnosed I would do some kind of training two or three times a week. Once the chemotherapy started, I continued walking the dogs and went running on the days I could manage it.
I went through two rounds of chemotherapy before having surgery. The second round of chemotherapy was unexpected. I had been due to have surgery, but my oncologist felt I still needed more chemotherapy. I lost my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows for a second time which I struggled with more than I did the first time round. In total I had chemotherapy for about eight months before I had surgery.
Some events I took part in were difficult as they were often only two days after a chemotherapy session, so I just had to dig deep. I’m a very determined person.
Doing the triathlon with my Army of Angels
My friends have been my rock. I call them my Army of Angels. They’ve taken on this year of fundraising with me and have really spurred me on and continue to do so.
Nine of us took part in the triathlon; it was great fun but hard going. I’d only finished chemotherapy three weeks before, but I did it! I was over the moon. It was such a massive achievement.
Karen Bloor (back row, second from right) and her Army of Angels
I was overwhelmed by the support of my friends because it was a huge undertaking for some of them. I cannot repay the support, love and constant care they have given.
We still have loads more fundraising events planned for the rest of the year, right up until April next year. We set out to raise £1,000 over the year, but we’ve already beaten that and have raised £11,300 so far!
Despite all that’s happened in the last year, I do feel positive. I feel that out of something so awful a lot of good has happened, lots of laughs have been had and relationships have been made stronger.
Help us continue to be there for people like Karen from day one by fundraising for Breast Cancer Care. Find out more about how you can get involved.