Brave cancer patient urges people in Rugby to get checked out and act fast

Gail Dunkley with her beloved dogs Boobear and Otis
Gail Dunkley with her beloved dogs Boobear and Otis

A resilient Rugby woman battling cancer is urging people to get themselves checked out after she says she ‘didn’t act quickly enough’.

Gail Dunkley has spoken out about her experience with the ‘evil disease’ in a bid to raise awareness and funds for research.

It’s scary to think that one day the doctors will probably say that there’s nothing left to try, that’s why raising money for research is so important

Gail Dunkley

The 42-year-old was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and secondary bone cancer in October 2014.

“I don’t know if I will win the fight and I don’t know when the fight will end, but I’m determined to make the most of things and give something back,” Gail said.

Gail has an aggressive form of cancer that can be managed but can’t be cured.

She first noticed a small lump on her breast in April 2014 and got it checked in August after her friend encouraged her to see her GP.

“I don’t feel I acted quickly enough when it came to getting checked out so I want to encourage everyone to go to their doctor if they notice any slight lumps, bumps or changes. It’s important that people are aware of how this disease - the most evil thing in the world - can affect a person, not just them, but their whole world and everyone around them,” Gail said.

“When they told me it was cancer my world fell apart, it literally fell in on itself. I thought ‘this isn’t me’ and ‘this isn’t my life’.

“My sister sat next to me during the results and when they told us what it was I became frozen.”

Gail, who works as a training co-ordinator at Nationwide Platforms in Lutterworth, is currently undergoing her third type of chemotherapy treatment after unsuccessful results with previous forms.

“I’ve had to accept that it is how it is and I need to make the most of each day,” Gail said.

“It’s like my sister says, I’m ill from the chemo right now, not the cancer, it hasn’t got me yet.

“It’s scary to think that one day the doctors will probably say that there’s nothing left to try, that’s why raising money for research is so important.”

Gail has signed up to take part in the Race for Life 10km event and will be running with a group of friends known as ‘Gail’s Girls’.

“I know that a lot of people get requests for fundraising events and they can’t give to everything but I would really appreciate it if people could give a small amount to our group this year,” Gail said.

She set a fundraising target of £100 but has already raised £125. Friends and family have also helped Gail organise a Big Strawberry Tea Party on August 22 from 2pm to 6pm at Whetstone Drive, Rugby. Everyone is welcome to attend the ‘street-party style’ event which will include refreshments, raffles and stalls.

To sponsor Gail, go to www.justgiving.com/gaildunkley and for more information about the Big Strawberry Tea Party event, and to hold a stall, email gail72@hotmail.co.uk