Edinburgh woman who faced breast cancer twice to Kiltwalk for Western General Hospital ward which saved her life
Yvonne Stewart was diagnosed with breast cancer firstly 12 years ago and was in remission following surgeries and courses of radiotherapy, but a decade later at a routine mammogram was diagnosed with the condition again.
“I was diagnosed again at my last mammogram,” she said, “I was grateful that they had found it them because it was caught early, if it hadn’t been picked up at the time I would have gone to routine checks and it may not have been caught until later down the line, that’s what screenings are for.”
Since May 2018, she has undergone 13 surgeries including a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction and credits the incredible staff at the breast clinic in the hospital for saving her life.
“They are the reason I’m still here, I’m thankful that I’m fit and well and I can never repay them enough, they’ve done so much and have been amazing throughout,” Yvonne added.
Along with work colleagues from the NHS Royal Edinburgh Hospital and some friends, Yvonne had planned to take part in the annual Kiltwalk as a team, however Covid-19 restrictions have meant that this year’s challenge has gone virtual.
Kiltwalkers are invited to don a bit of tartan and complete any socially distanced challenge they wish, from walking, running, cycling, hopping, skipping or jumping on a trampoline, to raise funds for the charity of their choice and The Hunter Foundation will boost all fundraising with a 50 per cent top up.
Over the month of April, 52-year-old Yvonne will walk 250 miles, which equates to around eight miles a day.
To take on the feat she plans to walk 10 miles a day for six days, walking to and from work and spend the evenings topping up her miles for the day and take one well deserved day off per week.
Initially the pharmacy procurement officer from Oxgangs set a fundraising target of £200, but to her surprise she has raised more than ten times that amount already.
She added “I’ve been training by walking to work and back and trying out some different walking routes. I want to keep ahead of the game.
“It’s going to be tough, some of the medication that I am on makes my joints sore but I’m stubborn and I’ll do it.
“I really wanted to do this to give back to the amazing people that work at the breast clinic.
“Going through diagnosis is hard as it is, but particularly people going through breast cancer diagnosis just now with restrictions in place and not being able to see loved ones for support is extremely difficult.
“The amount of money I’ve raised is amazing, I’ve been really touched by the amount of donations because I initially set a target of £200 and then upped it to £500, it is currently sitting at more than £2,300 and if you add in the top up, I’m going to raise more than £3,500.
“It’ll make such a difference to the ward there and to the men and women who need it.”
Every single penny raised by Yvonne’s fundraiser will go towards patient care, research, and lots more at the hospital.
In addition to the fundraising efforts, Yvonne who is also volunteer with Breast Cancer Now as part of their ‘Here For You’ telephone support team, hopes to raise awareness of breast cancer which affects around 4,700 people in Scotland each year and encourage anyone who has concerns to get checked as early detection ensures the best chance of survival.
To support Yvonne’s fundraiser, please visit her page on the virtual Kiltwalk website.