Keren's Rat Race in aid of gynaelogical department
It’s one of the biggest obstacle courses in the world and Keren Smith is aiming to conquer it.
For she is taking part in a 20-mile assault on the Rat Race Dirty Weekend being held at Burghley House, near Peterborough, in May next year.
She’s already taken part in a series of similar courses around the country along with her partner Steven Abbott, 32, and nine-year-old son Malakai.
The couple’s two-year-old daughter Connie has also been involved with her training which she carries out weekly with a course held on the playing field next to the Moreton Hall Community Centre, in Bury St Edmunds.
The 30-year-old, who lives in the town in Oliver Road, is aiming to raise money for the My WiSH Charity with the cash targeted at the gynaelogical department.
Her cause for raising the money is very close to her heart. For her family has battled with gynecological issues on both the maternal and paternal side.
When she was six-years-old Ovarian Cancer claimed her grandmother's life.
And her other grandmother lost her battle with cancer when she was around 10.
Her older sister Natalie was 14 when she had her first surgery.
Her mother took her to the doctor’s and they were convinced that she was pregnant but my mother persevered and eventually they did a scan and found that she had complex ovarian cysts which was causing the swelling in her tummy.
By the time Natalie was 21 she had four operations and faced with the heartbreaking decision of whether she ever wanted to have her own children as they were going to remove her ovaries.
“My sister will never experience being a mother. I've asked her a few times over the last 20 or so years and she’s happy with her choice,” said Keren, who runs Creative Nails, in St John’s Street.
“I met Steven in September 2015. I had an appointment booked with my gynecologist that December to set a date for a full hysterectomy as a preventive measure as she was sure that at some point I would also fall ill due to ovarian cancer.
“I had to get my head around not having any more children. I desperately wanted a girl.
“So, I decided to go ahead with the surgery and gave up my hopes of having a baby girl. Steven changed that.
“He shocked me by saying he really wanted a baby with me.
“Within a month I was pregnant and the following August, Connie joined the world. I still get so emotional when I think about how incredibly blessed I am to have my children.”
She said that while she was pregnant and after Connie was born she was closely monitored by hospital staff due to the family history.
“In October 2017 I had a full hysterectomy and my gynecologist said everything had gone to plan. I got my letter with the results and if anything was expecting something relating to Ovarian Cancer. I sobbed as I read that they had found Cervical Cancer. I just wanted to shut everyone and everything away.
“I called the hospital and they confirmed the news but said that it was only found on the cervix area and they were quite sure that they had removed it during the surgery but as a precaution wanted me back in six months for a check up. That check up was done on May 16 and I was ecstatic to get the all clear on May 30.”
That’s when she decided she wanted to do the epic race for the hospital.
She added: “From the very first time I visited them when I moved here right up to when they called me to tell me the cancer had gone they have been nothing but outstanding. The personal care, professionalism and work that they do is phenomenal and I can’t thank them enough.
“If it wasn't for them we might not have caught it in time. I might not have been able to live my life watching my beautiful family grow up.”
She has set up a Just Giving donation page and people who want to donate to her cause can go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ratrace20miles You can also text to donate by texting RACE£10 (or the amount you wish to donate) to 70070
Written by Russell Cook
Pictured is Keren Smith who is to take part in the Rat Race Dirty Weekend to raise funds for the MyWiSH Charity, and Keren and her family.