From high dose chemotherapy and intensive care to running 50 miles in one month, asbestos-disease specialist solicitor Helen Bradley sprints past her fundraising target for cancer care charity Maggie’s.
Helen Bradley, a specialist solicitor from Birchall Blackburn Law’s Industrial Disease team, has spent the first month of 2021 running around raising money for the amazing cancer care charity Maggie’s.
Coming close to the finish line of her target of 50 miles in January, Helen has already smashed her fundraising goal of £150. At the time of writing, Helen is close to reaching £600 – and she still has 11 miles to go! Not only has Helen achieved this, but she has done so while recovering from chemotherapy and a stay in an intensive care unit.
If you would like to donate to Helen’s fundraiser, you can do so here!
Following her cancer diagnosis, Helen needed to go through a course of chemotherapy. Made of strong stuff, Helen was able to tolerate the original course of chemo, but unfortunately had to have a stem cell transplant to allow doctors to give her a much higher dose of chemotherapy drugs, leading to sickness and hair loss.
The stem cell transplant and higher doses of chemotherapy drugs took away all her body’s immunities. Helen suffered from several complications in hospital, including sepsis, which led to a 2-week stay in an intensive care unit (ICU).
“When a person has been in intensive care they lose a certain percentage of muscle mass per day. When I came out of hospital, I was wheeled out in a wheelchair and could only crawl up the stairs,” said Helen.
“Doing this run has been a real challenge for me. I really can’t manage running far, so I’m having to go out lots to make up for it!”
Who are Maggie’s?
After first being diagnosed with cancer and throughout her ordeals of chemotherapy and ICU, Helen was supported by Maggie’s Manchester, which is part of a charity set up to help those living with cancer and their families. Maggie’s Centres across the UK create a welcoming environment to take people away from the clinical surroundings they so often find themselves in.
Helen said: “Maggie’s is an absolute sanctuary for those diagnosed with cancer. The people who work there are so caring. I was given support when first diagnosed and dealing with hair loss. I have always recommended it to clients with conditions such as mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer, but I gained a whole new insight having first-hand experience.
“When I was first diagnosed, I was in a hospital bed. The doctor came and pulled the curtain around and told me I had cancer. That was pretty much all he said, and he then left.
“I had no idea what type of cancer, what was the treatment, even if there was treatment or whether I had years or days left. I spent some dark times planning my funeral. A few days later, another doctor said he was extremely sorry, but I didn’t have cancer at all. Unfortunately, a few weeks after that I was then told again that I did, in fact, have cancer. Maggie’s was there for me and really helped me to process all of this information.”
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends, following the ideas about cancer care originally laid out by their founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks.
Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s centres are places with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need.
You can find out more about Maggie’s and the work they do to support those with cancer by visiting there website, here.