South Tyneside cancer survivor to celebrate 10 years all clear with 84-mile Hadrian's Wall challenge
A South Tyneside cancer survivor has shared her story as she takes on a charity challenge to mark 10 years since getting the all clear.
Lynda Newell was given a 50% chance of survival when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2009, at the age of 41.
Despite going to her GP with bowel issues, health professionals put it down to IBS until a scan revealed the rectal tumour.
Lynda was given the all clear in March 2010 after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery to remove her bowel, but was left to face life with a permanent stoma.
“It was completely out of the blue,” said the 51-year-old, who lives in Whiteleas, South Shields.“At the age of 41, to be given a diagnosis like that was quite horrific, but I was one of the lucky ones.”
Ten years on, Lynda leads a normal life, with a demanding job as a pediatric theatre practitioner at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and over the years has taken part in charity fundraisers such as a skydive and zip wire across the Tyne.
To mark the anniversary, in March 2020 she is set to walk the 84 miles of Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK and Colostomy UK, two charities supporting those with bowel conditions.
“I want to push myself to the limit, as well as highlighting the fact that people can survive cancer and can live perfectly normal lives with a stoma,” said Lynda.
“I didn’t know how I would cope going back to work or if I would ever go on holiday again, but I have done all of those things.
“There’s quite a lot of stigma attached to it, but I’m open about it, I don’t hide away.
“10 years ago in October I could never have looked forward to my future like I can now.”
Lynda also hopes to raise awareness of bowel cancer, the second biggest cancer killer in the UK.
She added: “If anyone is worried or has changes in their bowel habits they should go and see a GP. Don’t just leave it, go and get it sorted.”