JUST two-and-a-half years after she was diagnosed with cancer, Louise Cooper is planning an epic desert trek for charity.
The 49-year-old will walk 60km across Jordan in the Middle East to raise money for Maggie’s Oxford, a cancer centre which she says helped her through the ordeal.
In October 2010 she was left in a state of shock after being told she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
But after going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she went into remission by the end of last year – and now wants to help thank Maggies.
She said: “It was a very frightening time, full of uncertainty and fear, not just about the disease, but also the treatment.
“I’m well now and hopefully I will continue to be well, but it has felt like a long uphill struggle.
“The chemotherapy really knocks you back and it takes a while to get back to being yourself.
“That is part of what my walk is about – being normal again.”
Mrs Cooper, from Abingdon Road, Oxford, will walk with around 100 other fundraisers for a range of charities across in April.
Her five-day journey will take her from the Dead Sea to the red rock city of Petra and takes place not long after her 50th birthday in February.
Mrs Cooper, an advice centre project manager, first visited Maggie’s Oxford, at the Churchill Hospital, with her husband Brian, not long after she was diagnosed.
She said: “Maggie’s is a place of sanctuary, somewhere I can have a cup of tea and a chat with people who understand the emotional and physical toil of lengthy, often debilitating treatment.
“It really helps speaking to other people who are going through the same thing as you.”
She wants to raise £2,000.
She said: “I want other people to receive the same warm, caring and non-clinical support that I did to help them through the challenges that such a diagnosis can bring.
“And it was one way I thought I could make my half-century memorable.”
Fundraising organiser for Maggie’s Oxford, Meghan Doran, said: “Everyone at Maggie’s Oxford is so grateful for Louise’s support and fundraising efforts.”
To find out more or to donate, visit justgiving.com/Louise-Cooper3