Anne Hanley is delighted to be back at parkrun after her treatment and recovery from breast cancer. Here she tells us how that return to parkrun felt.
I started parkrunning because it was a way to get back into some regular exercise and it was something my husband and I could enjoy together. We started out at Griffeen parkrun, then when Castletown parkrun started up it became our home event as it was closer to where we live.
When I’m parkrunning I don’t break any records, but, I love just taking part and seeing everyone each week.
During 2017 and 2018 I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer which required chemotherapy, surgery, reconstruction and radiation therapy. Being diagnosed with breast cancer was a shock, but one of the hardest parts was telling my family and the people close to me.
I was truly blessed with the support from my family, friends and the medical team at St. James’ hospital who travelled with me on my journey to recovery.
I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the importance of breast check awareness for everyone. It probably saved my life. Then to anyone going through treatment right now, keep smiling, stay positive and look forward to a stronger better you.
My return to parkrunning, post recovery, was earlier this year, in February. It was an amazing day, accompanied by great weather with sunshine all the way. The volunteers gave me lots of smiles and encouragement.
It was such a highlight going through the finish funnel. I felt the biggest sense of achievement, and I carried everyone who has faced cancer either directly or indirectly with me across the line that day.
I volunteered for the first time at Castletown parkrun last weekend and enjoyed supporting all the parkrun participants.
I’m hoping to do lots more parkrunning and volunteering this year, maybe trying other events in Ireland if the opportunity arises and one in London when I visit my son who is living there.
A huge thank you to everyone who makes the events happen, welcoming everyone to join in, setting everyone this little personal challenge each week and ensuring we all have fun. It is an amazing event.
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