Maria’s miles bet­ter

Can­cer sur­vivor gets on her bike for char­ity

Rutherglen Reformer - - Election Special - Rutherglen Sth - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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