Arlene Spiers Chief
Executive, Ulste cancer Foundation
accepts a cheque from Karen Blythe for
£500 during UCF's annual Challenge of
Cancer conference held at the Wellington
THE shocking news that her sister had cancer
probably saved a Lisburn woman's life.
Karen Blythe's younger sister Sandra Mcllroy,
from Bessbrook, was diagnosed with cancer in May last year after
she found a lump in her breast.
Although she had no symptoms, following the
diagnosis Karen, from Haddington Hill, decided to get checked
out with a little persuasion from her father.
So it was even more shocking that Karen too
was found to have identical grade three cancer in July last
Both women underwent six months of gruelling
surgery and courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but
happily this year they each got their first year assessment and
were given the all clear
Karen, who is now 42, is in no doubt Sandra's
devastating news saved her.
"My cancer was so deep routed and I had no
lump so mine would never have been noticed," said Karen. "If it
had not been for Sandra I would never have known. By the time I
would have found out it would have spread throughout my body."
Karen held a number of fundraising events and
collected £2,000 which will go to local cancer charities. A
pampering party and a 20 year reunion dinner with her university
friends raised £1,000 for the Ulster Cancer Foundation, and
Action Cancer while a further £1,000 was raised from a Venture
photography event and the money will go towards Macmillan.
As a thank you for all the help and support
the sisters received during the past year, Karen collected
£1,000 for local cancer charities during two recent fundraising
events at her home.
She said: "After six months of treatment
consisting of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy we wanted
to give something back for all the support we received from
friends and family and particularly charities such as the Ulster
Cancer Foundation, Action Cancer and Macmillian cancer support.
"These charities offered support through
group meetings, counselling, therapy courses, Look Good Feel
Good sessions, yoga and meditation to name but a few. In fact it
was through Action Cancer's free mammogram service that Karen
was first made aware that she had a problem.
"We hope to hold further charity events and
we would like to thank our family, neighbours, friends and work
colleagues for all their help and support through the past