A BREAST cancer survivor and the wife of a prominent politician has told of the moment she learned she had the disease.
Fiona Findlay, who is married to Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay, was diagnosed late last year, but is now on the road to recovery.
The 47-year-old said her husband “crumpled” as he took her call while on duty at the Scottish Parliament.
Fiona and the couple’s 20-year-old daughter Chloe are now set to take part in Cancer Research UK’s Pretty Muddy obstacle course next week.
The clinical support worker at St John’s Hospital in Livingston said: “I rang Neil at lunchtime and told him the news. He just crumpled.
“We both headed home and cried. When Chloe came home from university we told her together and just spent some time comforting one another.
“But after that, I told them that I wanted all the crying to be done and if I was going to get through this, I would need a positive attitude – and for them to support me with that.”
Fiona was also grateful to her dad, who lives in France, for coming to see her over Christmas and staying with her until her treatment was finished.
She was also overwhelmed by the messages of support she received from local people.
Deliveries of flowers became a regular occurrence and more than 100 cards were posted through her letterbox as word spread around the close-knit former mining community of Fauldhouse that Fiona had cancer.
She said: “Every week there would be a delivery of flowers, people lit candles for me in our local church and I was sent more than 100 cards from people wishing me well. It was phenomenal.
“And my family were so strong for me. My husband deserves a medal for looking after me so well and my daughter Chloe took it all in her stride. It was really difficult for them too.” Fiona will also be a VIP guest speaker at Pretty Muddy Edinburgh at the Royal Highland Showground next Saturday.
An army of women is needed to slip, slide and splash their way over, under and through a range of obstacles from scramble nets, tunnels and hurdles, to the final challenge of the giant inflatable slide – all to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
Fiona said: “Cancer is an awful disease and affects everyone in one way or another.
“I know modern-day cancer treatment is only possible thanks to research and so I would urge ladies to get in on the fun and sign up for Pretty Muddy as soon as possible.”
Every hour, around three people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland and the number of people being diagnosed with cancer has now reached around 30,200 cases each year.
Susan Johnstone, Cancer Research UK’s national events manager in Scotland, said: “We are so grateful to Fiona and her amazing family for supporting Pretty Muddy.
“We need women of all shapes and sizes to pull on their leggings, lace up their trainers and show their support.
“Race for Life events are not competitive. They are not about being fit or fast.
“Taking part is about being part of a collective force of powerful women – of all ages – leading the charge against cancer.”