Belfast Telegraph

Cancer survivor has high hopes Europa abseil will raise funds for charity

By Claire Williamson

It was a test to which she owes her life.

And now a Co Down woman who survived cervical cancer is to scale new heights in a bid to raise awareness with a fundraising challenge for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Marianne Nicholson, a 41-year-old legal secretary from Saintfield, will take part in an abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast on Sunday, May 20, to raise funds for the charity which helped her following her shock diagnosis in July 2017.

Marianne was diagnosed with Stage 1b1 cervical cancer - adenocarcinoma - following her first smear test in four years. She had a radical hysterectomy with lymph node removal, which successfully took away the tumour. Since then, with the help of Cancer Focus NI, she has started campaigning about the importance of going for smear tests.

She said: "It was my smear that caught mine so early on, but I have since read that the percentage of women going for smears is at an all-time low and this is a travesty, because women need to realise how important smears are in detecting cervical cancer and also to look out for the signs of this silent killer.

"I had major surgery and I'm now out the other side, and I want to give back to Cancer Focus NI because they helped me so much with my cervical cancer awareness campaign."

The support from Cancer Focus NI inspired her to do the abseil to raise funds for the charity.

She said: "They were always on hand to help any time I messaged them about sharing my story. I just wanted to give something back to this amazing charity in the way of helping raise some much needed funds.

"I am nervous but super excited about doing the abseil.

"It will be an amazing challenge and I would encourage everyone to sign up as it's for a good cause and that is the main focus."

Marianne is hoping to raise £500 through her sponsored abseil and would encourage others to get involved.

The registration fee is £20 and there is a suggested minimum sponsorship of £80.

You can register online at www.cancerfocusni.org/abseil or contact 028 9068 0788 for more information. If you have any concerns about cancer, call the free Cancer Focus NI support and information NurseLine on 0800 783 3339

Belfast Telegraph

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