A RETIRED health visitor whose mother and best friend were diagnosed with bowel cancer within months of each other is set to run the Leeds 10K to raise awareness of the disease.
Anne Chitty’s mother Carol died aged 73 in June 2007, just 16 weeks after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Her best friend Sue Gibson, now 58, was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 46 in November 2006 and is now recovered after surgery to remove a tumour.
Mother-of-two Mrs Chitty, also 58, said: “It was an extremely traumatic period of time.
“I miss my mum so much still, fortunately my best friend Sue has survived and recently celebrated her tenth year anniversary of survival.
“Mum was fit and healthy and didn’t feel ill, she couldn’t believe she had got it.”
Mrs Chitty said her mother had a routine blood test in 2005 which showed she was anaemic and she underwent a colonoscopy, which was clear.
She continued to suffer from anaemia and underwent a second colonoscopy in 2007, which revealed a large inoperable tumour.
Mrs Chitty said: “I ran my first Leeds 10K in 2008 in mum’s memory and I have done it every year since, apart from one year following foot surgery.
“I always feel extremely emotional on the day and love the atmosphere.
“I feel extremely passionate about raising awareness of bowel cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in the UK.
“The prognosis of bowel cancer is usually good if picked up early, but sadly due to the nature of the symptoms which involves talking about bottoms and poo, people often feel too embarrassed to seek medical advice.
“I want to help reduce the stigma and suggest it’s OK to talk about poo.”
To back Mrs Chitty and donate to research charity Bowel Cancer UK, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Anne-Chitty1