Maria’s miles better
Cancer survivor gets on her bike for charity
A Cambuslang woman who suffered the agony of a breast cancer diagnosis is getting on her bike to make sure others have the same support she did.
Maria Chalmers, from Drumsagard, was diagnosed with the disease three years ago at the age of 46.
The news left her and her loving family devastated and she admits it took her many months to recover from the shock.
Now, she will complete a gruelling 360mile cycle from London to Amsterdam to raise money for Breast Cancer Care, who supported her through her surgery and radiotherapy.
Looking back on what she went through, Maria, who turns 49 next month, said it was a dark time.
She explained: “I was in a very dark place and got a lot of support from Breast Cancer Care. I needed that support to help me move forward.
“It was the worst day of my life, just awful. I know people talk about just getting on with it but I was not like that.
“You do need to get on with it eventually but for the first few months I didn’t think I would ever smile again.
“My brother had Hodgkin’s Disease 22 years earlier and had been through chemo so he was a great help, just telling me to not worry about things until they actually happen.”
Maria, who works as a sister in orthopaedics, was also supported by her family; husband Paul and sons Kieran, 24, Joseph, 23, and Paul, 18.
And that help has continued as she gets on with her training.
She laughs: “They are amazed I am doing it, but they like their fitness and all play football so they have been brilliant.
“They really kept me going. It was the worst day of their lives too but they were amazing.” Maria started training for the ride four weeks ago, but wasn’t a cyclist before hand.
She will host a fundraising night in the Burnside Hotel on April 28 and is hopeful local businesses can help her out.
Two days before that, she will get a reminder of what she’s been through when she goes for her yearly scan.
But she is now looking forward and is relishing her new challenge.
“I’m terrified,” she laughs. “It’s a big challenge but I can’t wait.
“It’s 85- 90 miles a day so it’s very daunting. I’m just building my miles up at the moment.
“Two days before the charity night I have my scan. They never actually say you are cured and I’ll be followed up for at least 10 years. That’s the thing with breast cancer, you are never at the end of it.”
On her bike Maria Chambers survived breast cancer and now wants to help others in that situation