Occupational therapist will ‘grasp life opportunities’ after cancer

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An East Lothian cancer survivor says she will grasp every opportunity life throws at her after battling the disease.

Jill Cow, of Haddington, East Lothian, took to the stage ahead of Cancer Research UK’s Pretty Muddy event obstacle course yesterday, and told the women gathered that she owed her life to cancer research.

Jill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2014 when she was just 22-years-old.

Now aged 26, Jill has slowly regained her health after receiving treatment at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital.

Jill was also chosen to be the VIP starter for exciting obstacle course, sounding an air-horn to set the first wave of participants on their way. The date of Pretty Muddy Edinburgh is special to Jill as it marks exactly two years since she received her life saving stem cell transplant.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, including those who take part in Pretty Muddy events, the charity was able to spend more than £34 million in Scotland last year on life saving research, helping more men, women and children survive.

Jill, an occupational therapist, said: “My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important. I believe it’s thanks to research that I’m standing here today.

“Since treatment ended, I’m keeping well and my energy levels are improving all the time. I lost my hair through treatment and that’s grown back slowly.

“Now my goals are very simple – grasp every opportunity life presents, not put anything off and try to live as healthy a life as I can.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and marathon events which raises millions of pounds every year to help fund life-saving research.

Every day, 88 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland.* Money raised at Pretty Muddy Edinburgh will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to treat cancers and save more lives. Organisers are now urging Scots to return their sponsorship money to help pioneering research.

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. Survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Cancer Research UK area events manager for Edinburgh, Claire Wase, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in Pretty Muddy Edinburgh.

“Listening to Jill’s story brought home to everyone why raising money for cancer research is so important.

“The atmosphere on the obstacle course was full of fun and camaraderie with an extra helping of mud, sweat and cheers. It was also emotional with participants wearing signs on their backs declaring their reasons for taking part. Many will be remembering loved ones lost to cancer or celebrating the lives of people dear to them who have survived.

“Our mud-splattered supporters gave it their all and the atmosphere is electric as women of all shapes and sizes unite to beat cancer.”