Breast cancer survivor used exercise to help her through gruelling chemotherapy

23rd September 2015

Participating in a long distance bike ride takes determination, positivity and drive, but, getting on your bike and pushing yourself to the limits while enduring gruelling chemotherapy takes guts – something of which Kerry Allison has huge amounts.

In September 2013, Kerry Allison from Shropshire was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer just three days before her 40th birthday. But, Kerry didn’t let cancer get in the way of her living her life and, just two short years later, Kerry is cancer free, full of energy and gearing up to participate in a 100km bike ride at this year’s Macmillan Cycletta Cheshire.

Kerry, already an avid mountain and road cyclist, was devastated with her cancer diagnosis, but, instead of letting her treatment take over her life, she focussed on exercise to help her push through the physical and mental challenges of her chemotherapy and proving that, with positivity and determination, the seemingly impossible can be achieved.

Exercise gave Kerry a different focus when going through chemotherapy. She said:

“At the time, when I was going through treatment, I did wonder what on earth I was doing, going out on my bike and pushing myself. Mentally, I felt so exhausted during treatment. I’d go out running so I’d be physically tired because of the exercise and not the chemo. I wasn’t prepared to give in to the treatment.”

980KerryAllisonAs well as enjoying the exercise, Kerry found a strong support network within her local running and cycling groups who were there for her during her treatment. Kerry continued:

“Whether it’s running or cycling, it’s as much a social thing as anything else. I run with a group of girls every Saturday and on a Wednesday I join a group of around 40-50 people for mountain biking – we are called the Wild Wednesday Wheelers. They really looked after me when I was having treatment and especially when I was out on my bike. They completely understood why I was still pushing myself, regardless of the treatment.”

After being given a clean bill of health last year, Kerry was looking for a long distance cycling event nearby that she could enter. After finding Macmillan Cycletta at Tatton Park in Cheshire on Sunday 27th September, the event appealed to Kerry as a cancer support charity and Kerry is planning to do some fundraising.

Kerry was also particularly delighted to see a longer 100km distance in a women only event. She said:

“I always think that people underestimate women and women are more than capable of these longer distance events. I am used to training in unisex groups, but I feel strongly that women do need to be encouraged to get out there and get involved in sport more.

“This my first Macmillan Cycletta, but I’ve participated in other similar events. I’ve cycled the Tour of Flanders in Belgium three times. I took part last year one week after I finished my treatment.”

Unsurprisingly, Kerry is not phased by the 100km challenge ahead of her at Macmillan Cycletta Cheshire. Kerry added:

“100km is a distance that I am happy doing. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time helping my friend, Patricia, get ready for the event as she has never done anything like this before. The more you train, the more you can enjoy the event and do the distance. I’m a very social rider. I get round the route by chatting to people. I love the sense of camaraderie.”