MONTHS after her mother fought a bitter struggle with breast cancer, Jane Coles has been inspired to help in the battle against the disease.
She will take part in the 10th year of a county fundraiser to raise awareness about the illness.
More than 1,000 women will be taking part in the Blenheim Palace Pink Ribbonwalk for Breast Cancer Care on Saturday.
Mrs Coles helped her 71-year-old mother Angela Robinson through chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.
Now she wants to support the charity that helped save her mother.
Mrs Coles, from Risinghurst, works in commissioning at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, and said: “About late June last year, my mum was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The most difficult part was right at the beginning.
“The cancer was only picked up on a routine mammogram. I realised straightaway that it was not good news.
“It was just devastating. It is not what you expect to hear, and the first thing that goes through your mind is that is she going to die?
“It was those first couple of weeks when we didn’t know what was going to happen – that was the hardest bit for us.”
Mrs Robinson – mother to Jane, Mark, 49 and Neil, 47 – was first diagnosed with breast cancer last June. She had to have surgery and then undergo six sessions of chemotherapy.
In the New Year, the former income manager at Oxford Brookes had four weeks of radiotherapy. She started on a course of Herceptin in February.
Mrs Coles said: “I feel like I’ve walked the whole way with my mum. I just wanted to give something back.”
The 45-year-old will do the 10km walk with her colleague Julia Goodgame and so far has raised more than £300.
Mrs Coles is married to postman Lawrence Coles and is mother to eight-year-old Nathaniel.
She has walked between seven and eight miles each weekend to prepare for the challenge.
Proud mum Mrs Robinson said: “It is the support that you get from your friends that gets you through in the beginning.
“I am very grateful to Jane. She came with me for all of my chemotherapy treatments. She has been extremely supportive.
“If it wasn’t for all the research that has been done, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in today.”
Mrs Goodgame, 57, from Bicester is excited about this weekend’s walk and has raised more than £200 for the charity.
The clinical services manager said: “The first reason I am doing the walk was Jane’s mother. But I have also had a couple of friends that have had breast cancer and unfortunately had a friend who died from it seven years ago.
“The cause feels really close to us and it was a positive thing to do.
“I am looking forward to it. I’ve been doing lots of walks and I did nine miles last week.”
Mrs Goodgame’s husband Norman will cheer her on in the walk.
- To sponsor Jane or Julia, visit: justgiving.com/Jane-Coles3 or justgiving.com/Julia-Goodgame