THIS time last year Louise Harvey was pregnant with her first child and supporting her partner who was battling cancer for the second time.
Now, she is urging women to take part in this year’s Race for Life to raise money to help stop cancer.
She lost her granddad to the disease and nearly lost her brother.
“Cancer for me is something that is very close to home,” said Louise, who lives in Rugby.
“When my brother Mark was diagnosed with testicular cancer five years ago we were told the chances were slim. It was horrific.”
The family also lost Louise’s granddad Ange Rion to bowel cancer.
“Mark survived and although my granddad battled for a long time, he died.”
Louise’s partner is cancer survivor James Golding, who has fought back from the brink of death. Together the two have had a long and painful journey with cancer.
“His spirit and courage are infectious - that’s helped get me through it,” said Louise.
James was told by doctors last summer that the cancer he battled so hard against had returned.
In November 2008 James was diagnosed with the disease. By February 2009 he was given just five per cent chance of survival, was in a coma and had lost six stone.
But he beat the odds and made a remarkable recovery, even teaching himself to walk again.
“I was heavily pregnant while James was going through treatment,” said Louise. “It was a surreal experience. He was having treatment ten days before Freddie, who is now one, was born. Our friends and family have been an amazing support.”
That’s why Louise is taking part in this year’s Rugby Race for Life.
“Cancer is something that effects so many lives,” added Louise. “I hope lots of people will take part this year.”
She will be joined by a group of friends including Ayshe Osbourne, who also lives in Rugby. “I did it on my own last year in memory of my mother-in-law Joan Osbourne,” said Ayshe. “It was very emotional so I’ve roped in another eight people to take part this year.”
To take part in this year’s Race for Life on July 15, call 0871 641 1111.