Ready to run
A Dumfries firefighter is taking on a half marathon just one year after beating cancer.
Susan Maxwell, 49, was training hard last April for the Great Cumbrian Run before receiving the devastating news she had “very aggressive” breast cancer.
The mum-of-one had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and is on Sunday set to finally complete the same run she couldn’t tackle last year .
Susan said: “It was difficult to take when I got the diagnosis in April last year.
“I went for the scans and when it came back you could see the cancer clearly. It was very aggressive and had spread in small clusters – it looked like cartridge shot.
“I took the decision to get the mastectomy. I was offered chemo and radiotherapy after the operation but the risks and side effects outweighed the benefits. So the choice was obvious.”
Husband Les, son Christopher, friends and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service rallied round Susan as she faced the prospect of an eight-hour operation and a lengthy recovery.
But even after her diagnosis and before her operation the keen athlete continued running in events and took part in the Kirkcudbright 10km race.
Susan said: “I worked right up until my operation. The support of my family and friends was invaluable but the service really bent over backwards to help me.
“I’ve been running for about 20 years now – for fitness as well as the enjoyment of it and I regularly run 10ks.
“It was a big operation but I was back on my feet in no time.”
“I want to thank the surgery team, surgeons Mr Bahia and Mr Cahoon, as well as all the staff who assisted throughout the eight hour operation.”
After getting the all-clear, Susan, who has 20 years’ service at Dumfries Fire Station, is determined to help others battling cancer by raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
She added: “I really want to push myself now and go that bit farther while raising a bit of money for a good cause and people less lucky than me.”
To donate to Susan’s cause visit www.justgiving.com/SusanMaxwell67.
Grateful for support Firefighter Susan Maxwell is raising cash for Macmillan