WHEN plucky Cat MacLean was diagnosed with breast cancer. . . no-one would have batted an eyelid if she’d announced she was about to take it easy for a while.
That was November and the keep-fit fanatic decided to do just the opposite – and up her training regime to prepare her for a gruelling fun run.
Chemotherapy and imminent surgery on a grade three tumour has done nothing to quell Cat’s enthusiasm and – with the blessing of medical staff – she is now set to compete in tomorrow’s Meadows Marathon alongside hundreds of other runners.
She said: “Hopefully I can do something to lift the spirits of others similarly affected.”
The 46-year-old is relishing an opportunity to “give something back” – even though she has been back in hospital this week – laid low by an infection. The event is partially in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and for Cat that is the perfect fundraising fit.
The Blackford-based mum-of-three, who was named Scotland’s solicitor of the year in 2012, said: “When my cancer was said to be quite aggressive, I thought everything would have to stop.
“However, one or two people said they knew of others who had carried on running through chemo and their encouragement helped massively, as did the support of nurses treating me in the oncology department at the Western General Hospital.
“The nurses told me ‘if you are used to running carry on’ and being outside in the fresh air helps me mentally in that I feel more in control.”
Cat was not intending to become part of a competitive event until Alex Harkins, coach at the Meadows Tennis Centre where her eight-year-old daughter, Evie, plays suggested being part of a team.
He has labelled her an “inspiration”.
She added: “Particularly during my late mother’s illness I had such a huge amount of information from Macmillan that it is gratifying to be part of a team that has already had £2000 pledged in fundraising.
“Running while undergoing chemotherapy was not the way I had planned to spend this winter, obviously, but out of my situation might come some good. I’m not a particularly fast runner and I am two-thirds of the way through chemo but hopefully I can do something to lift the spirits of others similarly affected.
“Earlier this week I doubted whether I could run but I am feeling much better and certainly intend to go the start line even if my time might be a bit on the slow side!”
The Meadows Marathon was started by two students in 2007 and has raised more than £150,000 for charities.
Tomorrow will see runners take part in a full marathon, a half marathon and a 5k run. Cat is taking part in the 5k fun run distance. To donate to Cat’s team go to: www.justgiving.com/meadowsgreenteam.