Elaine White is a 46-year-old legal secretary from Denton Burn in Newcastle. She lives with her husband, Paul, and Koba, a rescue Staffordshire bull terrier.
Paul White, Elaine White, Elaine Horsley and Cheryl Gibson at the Ibiza Marathon
She is running the Great North Run this year for our Foundation to mark 10 years since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
However, after she signed up for the half marathon and a full marathon race in Ibiza, Elaine received unexpected and unwelcome personal health news.
Elaine says: “I knew I wanted to fundraise for Sir Bobby’s Foundation this year because it was such a milestone for me to celebrate a decade without cancer.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I’d found the lump myself and I just didn’t feel quite right in myself. Following a visit to my GP I was referred for a scan and biopsy at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
“My treatment involved visiting the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Centre at the Freeman Hospital every four weeks for a year to receive Herceptin, a targeted anti-cancer drug, and the care I had was incredible.
“So, a decade on and I thought it would be very fitting to run for Sir Bobby because I like to keep fit and challenge myself. But this year’s training was knocked significantly off course when they found precancerous markers in my womb.
“I’d had a few symptoms, aches and pains and things and, again, I just didn’t feel right. I thought maybe it was down to menopause, so it was a shock to hear the news.
“At this point, I’d already signed up to do the Ibiza Marathon and Great North Run with my husband, my sister, Cheryl, and my friend, who is also called Elaine. My consultant gave me the green light to run in Spain so we just got on with it. My sister is suffering from plantar fasciitis, which is a very painful foot condition, so we are both facing physical challenges.
“I’m so proud of us all for completing the marathon. Together we raised £1,600 for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and now we have the Great North Run in our sights. I did wonder if I would be able to run though because I had a hysterectomy in June because what was initially thought to be precancerous turned out to be endometrial cancer in my womb.
“I’ve had to rest up to recover from that surgery but, hopefully, I’ll not require any further treatment. Once again, Newcastle Hospitals has looked after me so well and I’m very grateful for the wonderful care I’ve received.
“Running and fundraising for charity is important for us. This will be my eighth Great North Run and it will be extra special because I’m running for Sir Bobby. Especially so given the unexpected health issues I’ve had this year.
“It’s the most amazing thing to be part of such a special occasion. All along the route, you look around at the different vests people are wearing and you know that all the charities are relying on the money raised.
“I’ll be hugely proud to pull on my Sir Bobby Robson Foundation vest knowing I’ll be helping support cancer treatment now and for the future. I can’t wait to head to the start line!”