A 36-year-old woman who had a tumour the size of a rugby ball has shown she’s fighting fit after completing the challenge of a lifetime.
Firefighter Jo Carter, who is from Rugby, completed the gruelling 20 mile Man v Mountain race just one year after she had to have a hysterectomy to remove a benign tumour at University Hospital in Coventry.
Jo said: “I went to the doctors with what I thought was a hernia. I had a scan and was told I had a growth. I didn’t know if it was benign or not which was pretty daunting.
“From when I got diagnosed to surgery they were faultless, I even had my operation on the bank holiday.”
Jo had the tumour removed by surgeon Sophia Julien and her team, who she now dedicates every win and podium place to following her successful treatment.
“I read a lot of the forums about hysterectomies and they were very negative. It is very worrying when you go from being fit and healthy to reading that you won’t be able to do stuff. I just kept telling myself that’s not going to be me. I was down to do the Man v Mountain event, which I had to defer for a year which was a bit gutting.”
Jo couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle and get back out on the road as soon as she was fit enough.
Before long, she had a string of medals from 10k and half marathon runs and obstacle course races, and even qualified for the World Obstacle Course Race (OCR) Championships in Ohio, USA. She also completed the Coast-to-Coast bike ride.
She said: “From the moment I could get active I was, I got on my bike after four months, and six months after the operation, I did a 10k run which I did in 45 minutes and came second. Most events I have placed in.
“It did hurt - I have never felt pain like it - but it does get better slowly.”
Jo also recently sent a message of thanks to the surgical team who helped her.
She commented: “The care that you get in surgery is second to none. The surgeons do an amazing job and they are worth every penny because they make people better.”