In recent years, British Cycling has committed to providing increased opportunities for women to ride in a safe, supportive environment and to gain skills and confidence. Since March 2013, over 250,000 more women have taken up cycling. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month we thought we would highlight how cycling can help aid recovery during breast cancer through an inspirational story…
43 year-old Melanie Hurley, mother-of-two, from Sussex was diagnosed with breast
cancer in February 2012. She had to undergo a mastectomy in January 2013, and the care she received from Macmillan nurses drove her on to raise more money for charity; helping to support and inspire those whose lives have also been touched by cancer.
“I was driving from Horsham to St Luke’s Cancer Centre, in Guilford, Monday to Friday for six weeks for my radiotherapy. During the journey, I’d pass signs for the Farnham charity bike ride, and the more I passed those signs, the more I thought that I’d be able to do it. I set myself a goal to complete the 25 mile route which was to take place exactly 25 days after I finished my treatment”.
Melanie put in a bid for a new road bike online and started training. She strongly feels that the fresh air helped her recover physically and mentally and working towards a goal helped her through her treatment.
“If I was to give advice on cycling to other women who’ve had breast cancer, I would say it’s an easy form of exercise. The fresh air and lovely scenery is good for the mind and body, and cycling can be done at your own pace to help with your recovery. Cycling made me get out of bed on days when I didn’t feel like it but as soon as you’re actually on the bike it feels great!”
Having been given the all-clear Melanie continued setting herself ambitious goals. This year she has completed all six of the 100km Cycletta events. She is hoping to participate in longer rides and also to become a ride leader to encourage others to take up cycling.
“I’m so pleased I discovered road cycling; it’s given me lots of opportunities to take part in events and travel around the UK, I have truly got the cycling bug”.
At Macmillan Cancer Support, as a result of the growing evidence base, we have developed a new service area to enable people affected by cancer to realise the benefits of moving more.
We are working through local strategic partnerships between clinical care, public health, local government, and local providers of physical activity to provide a person-centred behavioural counselling service. A new service has recently been launched in Sussex let by Albion in the Community.
People are supported to become and stay active whether in a supervised gym-based programme, through their local health walks group or through a get-back-into-sport programme like Melanie has accessed. To find out more about your nearest behaviour change care pathway service contact us at email@example.com