Dales trek is a tonic for cancer fighter

Linda and Simon Milner with their Akita dogs Yoshi and Lola.
Linda and Simon Milner with their Akita dogs Yoshi and Lola.
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A WOMAN battling breast cancer will hike 14 miles to raise money for the hospital where she underwent her last round of chemotherapy just weeks ago.

Linda Milner was diagnosed with the disease at the beginning of this year and finished her seventh bout of treatment at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield at the end of last month.

Now the NHS worker and her boyfriend Simon Milner are preparing to take part in the Jane Tomlinson Walk for All in aid of the Wakefield Oncology Leukaemia Fund, which supports the cancer services there.

“Pinderfields have been amazing, everyone there has been wonderful and I want to be able to give something back,” she said.

“They think I’m mad - they keep telling me I should be taking it steady but I think I’ll be fine.”

Her diagnosis at the end of January came as a real shock to the otherwise healthy and fit 35-year-old, of Middleton, Leeds.

“I was at the gym five times a week, I did lots of exercise,” she said.

“Everyone I have told says I’m the last person who they ever would have though would get it, but it doesn’t discriminate - anyone can get it.

Since then, she has undergone a “whirlwind” of treatment starting with a mastectomy followed by gruelling chemotherapy.

“It’s awful. It’s just the worst thing in the world. I wouldn’t wish chemotherapy on anybody and I don’t think I’ve suffered with the side effects as much as some others do,” she said.

“It’s just been horrendous. Nothing can describe how horrible it is. It’s not just feeling sick, it’s the pain that goes with it.”

Doctors are optimistic about her prognosis since the disease was detected early.

“Are far as they are concerned I have been quite lucky,” she said.

“My cancer didn’t spread to my lymph nodes and as far as they are concerned they have taken my tumour out and the chemotherapy was to make sure there are no cancer cells left in my body.”

Now, Ms Milner is recovering from her treatment and is determined to complete the walk so she can repay the hospital for its care of her.

“I don’t think I would have been able to get through this without their support. It’s important for me to do this,” she said.

She and Mr Milner, 45, will complete the trek through the Yorkshire Dales on Sunday, August 19, with their two dogs, akitas Yoshi and Lola.

“It’s not unusual for us to do five-mile walks with the dogs anyway and we take them out for five to 10-mile walks at the weekends,” she said.

“It is probably going to be a bit of a challenge but I’m up for it.”

To sponsor her, visit www.sponsor-me.org/lindasimonyoshilola14mile

The Walk for All event is made up of four distances, 26 miles, 14, five and a 4.5-mile Walk and Wheel event.

The routes follow trails around the market town of Settle in North Yorkshire. The longest one takes in two of the Three Peaks, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough.

More information on the walks and other events go to www.forallevents.co.uk