All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for April 2004

Against all odds

Apr 29 2004
Cath Hendrick
Birmingham Evening Mail

For most, running a five kilometre race would be enough, but mum Karen Davies is planning to tackle six in less than two months!

What makes the challenge even more remarkable is that the 43-year-old from Birmingham has battled against the odds to beat breast cancer and been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Doctors initially gave Karen, of Erdington, a 25 per cent chance of survival after discovering a large malignant tumour in her right breast in April, 2000.

She almost died after undergoing treatment including a partial mastectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and ovary removal.

But the mum of one proved she is made of sterner stuff by fighting her way back to health and is now undergoing the final stages of her cancer treatment.

Despite her run of ill health Karen, who has a 13-year-old daughter Charlotte, has managed to stay positive and believes that played a major part in helping her to overcome her problems.

She said: "When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1992 I did the whole 'why me' bit.

"But then when I was told I had breast cancer I thought I can't afford to do that, I need to be positive.

"I realised I could sit there being negative or get off my backside and do something about it.

"I just thought 'let's get on with it'. I made sure I knew what was going to happen and what I needed to do.

"I think if I'd been negative and given up I wouldn't be here today."

Now she is back on her feet Karen is proving an inspiration to others. She is a member of Birmingham's famous athletics club, Birchfield Harriers.

Last year she teamed up with workmates at Birmingham-based firm Beiersdorf to raise money for Cancer Research UK by taking part in six of its Race for Life events.

When Beiersdorf announced it was planning to sponsor the event this year too, Karen decided to do it all again.

The forecasting and systems executive and five colleagues will start their Race for Life's marathons in Sandwell on June 6 and finish with the one in Bromsgrove on July 25.

Copyright © 2004, Birmingham Evening Mail