Kimberley Ramsay was top of our Walk In Her Name Step Challenge 2020 leaderboard having raised over £2,000 for Ovarian Cancer Action whilst recovering from surgery.
“In February 2020 I was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer.
I had three out of the four main symptoms, and for someone who knows these symptoms from raising awareness in the past, I never thought it would be cancer. It seems we never think something so serious will happen to us.
My clothes had stopped fitting almost overnight. At first, I thought it was the weight I’d put on over Christmas but then I started to need to wee urgently and was experiencing pain when I was exercising, with bloating so bad I had to hold my stomach to walk and use a hot water bottle constantly.
If it wasn’t for my mum insisting that I phone the GP and my boyfriend Ryan actually dialling the number or my sister-in-law insisting on coming with me (they all knew I’d not call, and not tell the GP half of what was wrong with me) I’d never have been referred to hospital the same night or had such urgent tests done.
At first they thought I might be pregnant, have IBS or a bladder problem, which were being ruled out one by one. It was discovered after a scan that I had a cyst, but further scans were needed to identify exactly what treatment would be needed. But whilst waiting for my next scan, I had to undergo emergency surgery as the cyst ruptured. A biopsy revealed I had a stage 1c mucinous adenocarcinoma tumour, which is a type of ovarian cancer.
"Taking on the Step Challenge and getting moving each day has really helped me process everything that’s happened since my diagnosis."Kimberley Ramsay
I’m one of 295,000 women diagnosed globally every year with ovarian cancer and sadly more than half of these women won’t survive beyond five years. I’ve got a long journey ahead of me to beat cancer but I have a 90% chance of survival as luckily it was found early. I’ve had the tumour, my right ovary, Fallopian tube and my appendix removed to reduce the chance of the cancer spreading.
I’ve had two surgeries so far this year, with more tests and treatment planned. I need to meet with oncologists and fertility specialists and get my head around eventually needing a full hysterectomy in the next few years to prevent the cancer from spreading. I am 30 years old, and so scared about my future, but there’s nothing I can do except be grateful I was diagnosed so early.
I would never have got through the last couple of months without my mum, brother, sister-in-law, dad, my incredible boyfriend Ryan and my brilliant friends who I’m so thankful to have!
So far, Ryan and I have walked 78,000 of our 295,000 steps and raised over £2,000 thanks to our generous friends and family. Taking on the Step Challenge and getting moving each day has really helped me process everything that’s happened since my diagnosis. I’ve also noticed my resting heart rate is lower too.
Cancer doesn’t stop during a pandemic, and fewer people are being diagnosed than ever now, or not wanting to go their GP if they have symptoms. So please, be aware of the symptoms and if you have them or hear anyone complaining about having any of them, go to your GP as it might save a life.”
You can sponsor Kimberley here.
Join the Step Challenge and take 295,000 steps, one for every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer globally each year. Walk, run, dance or hop your steps during the month of May and together we can fund life-saving research.