Published on 15 January 2020
A mum who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year is planning a charity two-day cross-country skiing marathon in the arctic.
Alison Stagg, who works as an anaesthetic practitioner at the day surgery unit at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, will set out next month and spend up to eight hours a day on skis as part of The Arctic Challenge, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
The mum of one, who lives in Kingsdown, near Deal, finished her cancer treatment in October after finding a lump after a mountain bike race.
She said: “It was such a shock. I had fallen off during the race and it was in the bath that evening that I noticed the lump, so I assumed it was related to the fall.
“When it didn’t go away, I went to the GP and was eventually told I had cancer. It wasn’t something I’d expected at all.”
Super-fit Alison, 55, needed two operations to remove the lump and some lymph nodes, and then had radiotherapy treatment.
But she kept up with her cycling and running throughout the treatment, and said the physical activity brought a host of benefits.
She said: “It was one of the things that helped keep me going and kept my spirits up.
“It meant I could get out, enjoy the fresh air, and spend time with other people.
“My colleagues think I’m barmy – and the fact that I’m doing this challenge hasn’t changed their opinion!”
To prepare for the expedition, Alison has been spending time in the gym on the cross-training machine, as well as going for lots of walks in the Kentish countryside.
She said: “I’ve done downhill skiing before but never cross-country, so it will definitely be a challenge.
“I suspect I look quite funny when I’m on a training walk because I try to replicate the arm movement.
“I’m really looking forward to the trip, and to the opportunity to give something back by helping to raise money for research.”
To add to Alison’s sponsorship, visit https://arcticchallenge2020.everydayhero.com/uk/Alison-1