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Cancer mother to climb Kilimanjaro

14 August 2013 11:34

A woman diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago is set to climb Kilimanjaro

A woman diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago is set to climb Kilimanjaro

A mother-of-two from Cardiff is set to climb Africa's highest mountain - one month after she finishes her treatment for breast cancer.

Rachael Barlow-Maguire, 41, was diagnosed with the disease a year ago. By the time the lump in her breast was discovered, it was already 4.5cm in size and had begun to spread.

She underwent radiotherapy and is currently on an intravenous treatment until the middle of August.

"I had the chemo for four months along with herceptin, which I have for a year, I also used alternative treatments, including reflexology and mediation, and when they went to check during surgery, they found that the cancer had gone," Mrs Barlow-Maguire told Wales Online. She will have to take drugs for at least another five years to reduce the risk of the cancer re-occurring.

Mrs Barlow-Maguire, who has a 10-year-old daughter named Ellie and a six-year-old son named Ed, is now preparing for her trek up Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Cardiff's Velindre Hospital, where she received her treatment.

Specialist travel insurance for cancer patients should help her and those in a similar situation enjoy a carefree and relaxing holiday.

John Byers of Cardiff PT Studio, who has been training with her, said: "We did take it easy at first while we were re-introducing her body to exercise but over the last couple of months we have been pushing her to make sure she is fit enough to enjoy the beauty of Kilimanjaro."

The money raised for the hospital's cancer centre will be used to help other people diagnosed with cancer and their families receive the best possible care, support and treatment.

Mrs Barlow-Maguire, who will embark on the trek up the 19,340ft mountain along with comedian Rhod Gilbert, said she was overwhelmed by the support she received from friends and family, but also from the community.

She said: "I had just celebrated my 40th birthday when I found the lump. It has totally changed my life and how I look and see everything. In some ways though it has enriched my life, I have been amazed by the response from the local community."