AN INSPIRATIONAL Penarth woman that has battled breast cancer twice in the last two years is set to climb Britain’s highest peak in aid of charity.
Sian Edwards, 47, was first diagnosed with breast cancer two and a half years ago and had to undergo chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a mastectomy during her treatment.
After feeling unwell during a walk with her family last year she discovered an aggressive form of the breast cancer had returned, spreading to her neck and lymph nodes, and she underwent another round of treatment that included three months of chemotherapy, three weeks of radiotherapy and further surgery.
Sian, who had her second mastectomy just last week, is now set to climb Scotland’s Ben Nevis on Saturday, September 27, in aid of charity.
All of the money raised from the mountainous trek will go towards Breast Cancer Care, the charity that provides care and support to those going through treatment.
Mum-of-five Sian said that she chose to sign up for the charity challenge as she wanted something to motivate her through her recovery from her latest surgery.
“I can’t run, swim or cycle, so I thought how hard can walking be,” she said.
“That was until I walked up Pen y Fan and I realised how hard it’s going to be and how much I will have to train for it.”
In preparation for the nine mile steep climb she is hoping to walk between 16 and 20 miles a week to build up her fitness.
As part of her training she has been walking from her Merlin Close home, near Cosmeston Drive, to Cardiff Bay and back again in a bid to rack up the miles.
“I now feel fitter and better than I did before the breast cancer as back then I never used to do any exercise,” she said.
“I had never really been up a mountain before, with my most strenuous exercise being walking up beach hill.
“I go out every day for walks now.”
Sian, who retrained as a nurse in 2003 and qualified in 2007, also works on the breast cancer ward at University Hospital Llandough.
She said that after going through breast cancer treatment herself it helped her provide better care to patients when she returned to work.
“It gives you a better perspective and you can empathise more with what people are going through,” she said.
Her daughter Amirah Gafur, 25, praised her mum for coping with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and two mastectomies’ without once complaining.
“Even after chemotherapy she always says she’s fine and doing well,” she said.
“You never hear her admitting she’s feeling bad.
“She’s been amazing dealing with it all and I don’t know how she does it.”
She added: “Her being so positive has helped her get through it. I would like to think that if anything bad happened to me I would be as strong as she is and cope with it like her.”
Sian is set to begin climbing Ben Nevis at 8am on the Saturday, September 27, and finish around 5pm. It will be the 10th year that a team from Breast Cancer Care have climbed the mountain, with Sian set to be joined by around 100 others in completing the challenge.
Sian, who has five children and two grand children, can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/sian-edwards12