Kayla’s still smiling despite double blow

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A BRAVE mum who was one of the youngest Scots to get breast cancer launched Race for Life in Edinburgh by sounding an airhorn to start this year’s campiagn off.

Kayla Doohan, of Livingston, has fought cancer twice and was just 20 when first diagnosed with the disease after finding a lump in her right breast.

Now cancer-free, Kayla gave an inspiring speech from the Race For Life stage and thanked those raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

Last month, for the first time, men joined the sea of pink streaming around Arthur’s Seat with Edinburgh being chosen to host one of the first of the new charity’s new Race for Life Family 5K events.

Kayla, 32, said: “Cancer can be scary and we all go through days when it feels like life will never get back to normal again.

“But time is a great help and you get there. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, it was a relief to hear that it hadn’t spread. I knew then that I could get through the treatment as I’d done it before.”

Kayla recovered well after surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Fears that the treatment in 2005 may have left her infertile proved unfounded and Kayla and her partner, Paul Davidson, 34, were overjoyed when their daughter Chloe, three, was born.

That’s why it was a hammerblow when tests revealed last July that Kayla was fighting breast cancer for a second time.

Now clear of cancer once again, Kayla – who had both breasts removed in January this year to help prevent a recurrence – is more positive than ever.

She said: “When I faced cancer aged 20, I’d only been with Paul for about a year. I remember saying to him it was okay if he wanted to walk away but he didn’t. He’s been a brilliant support and stuck by me through it all. I asked my surgeon to take both breasts away. I just felt like I didn’t need or want them any more as they had twice tried to kill me.

“I’ve had my daughter Chloe to keep me smiling this year. I’m loving life as a mum. Chloe is so amazing and says the funniest things. I’m so proud to be there for my daughter and I’m determined to capture every single moment.”

Race for Life spokeswoman, Linda Summerhayes, said: “Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer. The more research we can fund, the sooner that day will come.” Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is an inspiring series of 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and marathon events- running until September – which raises millions of pounds every year to fund life-saving research. Last year, 37,600 people took part in Race for Life in Scotland and raised almost £2.5 million.

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s.