Mum takes steps to tackle cancer

Dorothy Bissett, centre, with her daughter Joanna to her right, and friends on a Breakthrough Breast Cancer walk. Picture: contributed
Dorothy Bissett, centre, with her daughter Joanna to her right, and friends on a Breakthrough Breast Cancer walk. Picture: contributed
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A BRAVE cancer patient and her family are launching a major fundraising drive after adding a new 5K to the Capital’s running calendar.

Mum-of-two Dorothy Bissett, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, is behind the challenge, which takes place in Inverleith Park later this month.

With the help of daughter Joanna, son Daniel and husband Douglas, she has plotted the new course, which will see entrants walk, jog and cycle around the circuit to raise vital research funds. More than 100 participants have already signed up – and the Bissetts are hoping to make the event a regular occurence.

Daughter Joanna, a teacher at Leith Walk Primary School, said her mum deserved the credit for pulling the event together.

She said: “It’s been fairly difficult organising an event like this, as it’s my first time, but my mum has been brilliant. She did an event like this before in Kirkcaldy, and so she was able to get the ball rolling.”

Dorothy, 48, had been in remission for five years when she was given the shock news in June that her cancer was incurable.

But she remains upbeat and hopes the 5k on September 13 will raise more than £10,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Headed by Professor Mike Dixon, one of the UK’s leading breast cancer surgeons, the research base at Edinburgh University is responsible for developing some of the world’s most cutting-edge cancer treatments.

And as Dorothy returns to the centre over the coming months to launch a new plan of attack to manage her condition, she has the utmost confidence in Prof Dixon and his colleagues. She said: “Professor Dixon and his team at Breakthrough provide a one-stop-shop for women like me, and give so much in the way of support.

“I know there are options for me, but not everyone is that lucky.

“And so to develop new treatments that will ultimately help to save people’s lives, they need money.

“I’ve had my share of struggles. But this isn’t about me, this is about raising money for a charity that supports women through the darkest time in their lives. Nothing is more important.”

Dorothy decided to launch a fundraising campaign for the charity after she was given the all-clear following several months of treatment.

But news earlier this year that the cancer had returned and was spreading made her heart sink.

“I’ve now been told that my condition is chronic, and so it can never be cured,” she said.

Joanna hailed her mum’s attitude towards the illness – which claims the lives of 32 women in the UK every day.

She said: “She’s so positive – it may not be curable, but my mum is determined not to let the cancer stop her.”

nash.riggins@edinburghnews.com