A BOLTON cancer survivor has been chosen as the voice of Race for Life events.

Kirsty Naylor, from Westhoughton, has shared her inspirational story of being diagnosed with breast cancer in a powerful audio recording which is set to be played to all participants at the start line at Cancer Research UK Race for Life events in the North West and the rest of the country.

The mum-of-three booked a phone appointment with her GP in September 2020 after becoming aware of an issue with her right breast. The nipple had become inverted. As Kirsty was only aged 34, she wasn’t at all worried she could have cancer.

Due to strict Covid restrictions, Kirsty had to undergo an ultrasound and mammogram alone. The team at The Royal Bolton Hospital told Kirsty the news that they were 95 per cent certain she had cancer.

Further tests a week later confirmed she had breast cancer with two tumours having been found.

Kirsty, now 36, had her right breast removed and spent Christmas of 2020 feeling terrified of what was to come.

She began chemotherapy treatment in February last yearr but reacted badly to the treatment developing neutropenic sepsis. She spent a lot of time time alone in hospital and became very weak.

Kirsty’s partner Dale Young, aged 46, rallied round to look after their three girls, Ella, 16, Evie, six, and four-year-old Eila.

As Kirsty ended up spending so much time in hospital, her mum had to move into the family home to help out.

Kirsty finished chemotherapy 12 month ago. She then faced radiotherapy in July. But she is still feeling the side effects of the chemotherapy now with excruciating back and leg pain.

She will need an annual mammogram and will take the drug tamoxifen for the next decade. Cancer Research UK funded researchers helped prove the benefits of taking tamoxifen after surgery for women with the most common type of breast cancer.

She knows exactly how vital it is to raise funds for life-saving research And that’s why Kirsty is urging people to visit raceforlife.org and enter.

Kirsty has rallied together a gang of 14 of her friends and family members to take part in Race for Life Wigan at Haigh Hall on Wednesday, May 18. They have already raised more than £400. Kirsty’s gang will be able to listen to her audio from the start line.

Kirsty, who marries partner Dale in July in Lanzarote, said: “When they told me I had breast cancer, I didn’t take in the news at first. But when I walked outside my legs turned to jelly. I couldn’t drive home and I had to get someone to come and pick me up from the hospital.

“I was in shock for some time. I felt sheer panic at telling my family the news. It was as though the whole experience was happening to someone else and not to me.

“My three girls have been absolutely fantastic. It’s been particularly challenging for my eldest. My youngest two didn’t really know what was going on. They wanted to help and look after me. But were most concerned about me losing my hair!

“I hope my story will help connect with people in the moments before they set off on the Race for Life course.

“It’s a privilege to have the chance through the audio recording at Race for Life events to thank the amazing people who are fundraising to support life-saving research.”