A Wharfedale cancer survivor is backing a new campaign from Cancer Research UK.
Nicki Wardle, 44, of Guiseley, knows just how crucial new discoveries and breakthroughs are to help more people like her survive.
The former teacher has teamed up with Cancer Research UK to highlight the power of research in beating cancer and encourage people in Yorkshire to get involved. The new campaign has the message: “One day we will beat cancer. Help us make it sooner.”
It is an appeal that Nicki, wife and full-time mum to boys Sam, 11, and Ewan, eight, wholeheartedly supports.
In June 2007, aged 38, she was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) – a rare cancer that develops from tissues in the digestive system.
Following surgery, she returned to work as a teacher, but just a year later the tumour had returned and had spread to her peritoneum and lymph nodes. This time surgery was not an option for her.
GIST doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but Nicki was able to start treatment with a new biological therapy drug called Glivec, which blocks chemical signals inside cancer cells to stop them growing.
Three months later tests showed the drug was shrinking Nicki’s cancer and today, she continues to take Glivec and it is keeping her disease under control.
Nicki said: “I know from experience that research kills cancer. I am one of the lucky ones and thanks to Cancer Research UK more and more new drugs are available to give hope to people.
“Success stories like mine would not be possible without the charity’s work, which in turn relies on everyone who raises money. That’s why I’m supporting this campaign to help Cancer Research UK speed up the advances it is making.”
She is now encouraging women to sign up for events such as Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life event.
“I’ve taken part in the Race For Life in Ilkley and will be there again this year with my team of family and friends,” she said. “It’s a wonderful celebration of life and hope. It also helps me to give something back, which is very important to me.”