CANCER survivor Rachel Shergold is taking part in a charity run to celebrate being free from the disease.
When the nursing sister from Queen Alexandra Hospital was diagnosed with cancer in one of her kidneys she knew exactly what had to be done.
She had her left kidney removed in June last year and is now training to take part in Cancer Research UK’s 10k Race for Life, which takes place in Southsea.
The 38-year-old said: ‘I have children and I was not playing around with my life.
‘I told doctors I wanted the cancer removed even if it meant losing my kidney.’
Rachel, who has a daughter, Lily, nine, and son Stanley, five, with her partner Anthony, was diagnosed with renal cell cancer during an investigation into high blood pressure which showed up during a routine check-up.
When blood was also found in her urine she was immediately referred to a specialist for tests.
Doctors involved Rachel and Anthony, of Colville Road, Cosham, in the decision-making process but Rachel was determined to have the tumour removed as soon as possible – even if it meant losing a kidney.
She added: ‘I was told I would get my results back in a month, but when I was called in 48 hours later I knew it wasn’t good news.
‘Although I had my suspicions, it was still a complete shock to be told I had cancer but I want my story to be a positive experience for myself and others.’
Ten weeks after having her kidney removed, Rachel took up running.
‘When I started running 10 weeks after surgery I had never run before and wanted to challenge myself,’ she added.
‘I hated it at first but now I love it. It clears my head and helps me to feel very positive about everything.
‘I’m running in a team which includes family, friends, work colleagues and other mums from school.
‘We are running to raise much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK so others can have early diagnosis and treatment.
‘Many of my team have never run before.
‘They are all doing it for me as they know how important it is to me.’
The 10k run takes place on July 19, visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.