Rachel Kitching CFPTM Chartered MCSI, who works for Cooper Parry Wealth, a wealth management firm, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016 while she was seven months pregnant.
She said: “2016 was a shocking year, and for us it was a mixed bag to say the least. After the joy of falling pregnant at the beginning of the year with our much longed-for baby, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August.”
She decided to delay the beginning of her treatment so that the baby “could have the safest start in life”.
The operations director was determined to give birth normally and a month later she was induced and her son Noah was born.
However, that proved to be the start of a turbulent period for Ms Kitching and her family, which she described as a “frightening time”, as Noah was diagnosed with sepsis.
She explained: “I had breast surgery five days after Noah was born. After Noah was born, when he was about 4 weeks old, I recovered from surgery and he showed signs of not being very well.
“His cry was very different and I went down to the doctors and I was then sent to the hospital. They found that he had sepsis. He spent two weeks in the hospital and he had some checks, which went well and there was no lasting effects.”
There were more difficulties to come after this.
“We came out of hospital and I then started chemotherapy. I then had six rounds of chemotherapy and I lost my hair and it was really hard especially with a new-born baby,” she said.
“I then had radiotherapy and that concluded about two months ago now. Now I’m just on the hormone medication which I will be on for the next ten years.”
Before her pregnancy, Ms Kitching was a keen runner and to help raise money for Cancer Research UK, she dug out her trainers and took part in the Leicester Race for Life last weekend.
Ms Kitching hasn’t been alone though, as her friend Caroline Stuart, DB Wood’s head of technical solutions, joined her on the starting line.
She said: “It was fantastic, it was really good fun. There was a great atmosphere and the event was really well attended. The Leicester event raised in the region of £350,000 and it was really good fun.
“Me and Caroline and some other friends took part and I was pushing Noah around in the buggy which was really hard going, but all the girls pulled together and we got round the course.”
The Race for Life event won’t be the end of her exploits though. She will be taking part in the Leicester 10k in September and a half marathon in October.
She said: “I’m feeling positive. I was running half marathons previously and it has been a real slog to get back up to the 5k distance. I’ve got a training plan in place though and it’s not easy with treatment but I’m confident I’ll be able to do the distances and the races. The atmosphere on the day and the sponsorship and support is what gets you round.”
Ms Stuart, who is heading up this year’s Paraplanner Powwow, said: “Rachel is one of my most favourite people in the world and when she asked me to do the Race for Life with her, there was only really one answer I could give! I had great fun doing the run with Rachel, Noah and our friends.
“The Race for Life is a great event and it really felt like we were all part of something special, particularly when we all crossed the line together. I’m now really looking forward to doing the 10k in September and, albeit slightly apprehensively, the Half Marathon in October.”
Ms Kitching has raised almost £3,000 so far, but she is hoping to hit the £5,000 mark to help raise money for a clinical trial.
“I started off with a target of £1000 and we reached that in the first week, so I upped it to three and we’re nearly there now. Ultimately, I’d like to raise at least £5000 because that’s roughly the cost of a clinical trial, I believe.”
Ms Kitching has returned to work at Cooper Parry Wealth this week and said: “I’m taking it slowly but really enjoying being back. I really enjoy being back with the team and getting involved with everything again as it’s a special company.”
To donate to Rachel’s cause visit her Justgiving page HERE: