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Breast cancer survivor Liz to light up Cardiff’s ‘Shine Walk’

A COURAGEOUS breast cancer survivor who almost died after contracting sepsis will lead the charge against cancer at Cancer Research UK’s 10k night-time walk in Cardiff on 19 October.

Liz Gooch from Pontypridd found out she had cancer after finding a lump in her left breast when she was 38. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and discovered she was a carrier of the BRCA1 cancer gene.

The payroll assistant had a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was relieved to be told she had beaten the disease.

But after having breast implant surgery two years ago, she started experiencing extreme pain in her left breast and was diagnosed with sepsis – a life-threatening reaction to an infection.

Liz said: “It was really touch and go and my parents were told I only had 24 hours to live.”

Liz, 41, was in a coma for three days but thankfully made a full recovery.

“Having sepsis was honestly worse than my cancer diagnosis,” said Liz. “At least with my cancer diagnosis I felt more prepared and knew what treatment I needed. With sepsis, it all happened so fast and it was really terrifying.”

Liz had the implant removed and now uses a prosthetic instead.

Liz after treatment

She said: “It was really hard at the time as I’d just met my now fiancé, Wayne. I wasn’t sure how he was going to react but he has been amazing.”

Liz is now looking forward to the future and is getting married to Wayne in May next year.

Liz and Wayne

She said: “I have bought my wedding dress which was quite an emotional experience as I wasn’t sure how I’d look with the prosthetic, but I love the dress and I can’t wait to get married now.”

Liz has been chosen as the VIP to launch Cancer Research UK’s Cardiff’s Shine event which takes place at Cardiff Castle on Saturday 19 October.

More than 1,200 People have already signed up to the 10k walking event which will see men, women and children uniting through light to raise money for life-saving research.

Liz said: “It’s an honour to be sending participants over the start line at Cardiff’s Shine event as well as taking part myself. I know just how vital research is and how much we need better, kinder treatments for the disease, so I hope people sign up and join me at Shine to support this brilliant cause.”

Cardiff is one of just ten locations across the UK selected to hold Shine Night Walk events in 2019. When people sign up they can choose to support one of 12 different areas of scientific research– including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia. Or they can simply give their backing to Cancer Research UK’s overall work.

The walk starts at Cardiff Castle at 7pm and participants will take to the city streets in a fun and inspirational parade of light. The route will pass landmarks such as The Principality Stadium and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Katie Cooze, Cancer Research UK’s Cardiff Event Manager, said: “We’re delighted to bring Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk to the city once again. We hope people will unite behind this special, emotional event and help make it a night to remember.

“The battle against cancer never stops.  We need everyone to sign up and start fundraising as soon as possible, to fund research that will bring hope to people affected by the disease.” 

Katie added: “Participants can choose to complete the course at their own speed, from a leisurely stroll to a lively stride to a full-on power walk. Training guidance and fundraising advice will be provided before the big night and there’ll be special points along the route to help keep everyone going.

“The atmosphere on the evening promises to be unique as the community unites in the fight against the disease. It’s a special opportunity for people to come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer or celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived.”

To enter visit www.shinewalk.org