Denise McCabe is a cancer survivor. Given what she's been through, surviving the 5K at the Belfast Telegraph Runher on June 28 will not be a problem.
Denise (35) was brought up in Mullaghbawn just three miles from where she now lives in Forkill with husband Stephen and sons Keelan (9) and Jordan (6).
At the age of five she was diagnosed with cancer — the news every parent dreads.
“Then cancer was such a taboo subject, and anyway it was impossible for them to explain to me what I would be facing in the future,” said Denise.
Her consultant at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast was Mr WC Logan. In 35 years of ophthalmology he had not seen a case like it and advice was sought from a top American doctor.
Over the next year the tumour was bombarded with chemo and radiotherapy to shrink and isolate it enough to allow surgery.
The bond with her consultant became a strong one and he would subsequently speak at her wedding many years later.
Initially the prognosis had been grim — a 50% chance of survival and a life expectancy of five years.
Denise's memory of everything that happened is crystal clear. Five years after that chilling forecast her sight started to fade. “Everyone always thinks the worst,” she said.
The news that it was in fact a cataract brought profound relief.
“Through my parents’ unwavering love and reassurance and with the help of their families and friends, we all survived even the darkest days,” said Denise.
“It is only now having two sons of my own that I can fully appreciate all the sacrifices my family made for me,” she said.
In a cruel twist of fate Denise's mum Delores died of cancer three years ago. In a reversal of roles, she had helped to nurse her. The memory is still emotionally very raw.
“It was very hard. For four years she died a little bit everyday,” she said.
Denise studied mechanical engineering at the now Belfast Metropolitan College and went on to work for two large engineering firms travelling the world.
And following her cancer experience she now fundraises for Runher's nominated charity CLIC Sargent, for children with cancer.
More Runher information can be found at: www.runher.co.uk.