A MOTHER who underwent mastectomy surgery 30 minutes after giving birth will officially start the Chester Race for Life.
Sarah Williams, 40, of St David’s Court, Connah’s Quay, was diagnosed with breast cancer after falling pregnant with her second child, Joshua, last year.
She had to endure five bouts of chemotherapy before he was born and has now spoken for the first time about her terrifying ordeal.
Sarah, who will run in the charity event next month, said: “When I was told I had cancer it was an utter shock. I was 20 weeks’ pregnant and kept thinking, ‘what about the baby?’ I was terrified this would mean I would lose him or her.
“Although I felt in safe hands, it was the most terrifying experience of my life having chemotherapy while knowing I had this precious bundle of joy inside me.”
Doctors at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital worked out a treatment plan for Sarah which would protect her unborn child and in October she underwent a C-section to deliver her baby boy.
Half an hour later in the same operating theatre she underwent a mastectomy as well as a procedure to remove 29 lymph nodes, 22 of which had live cancer cells in them.
Following Joshua’s birth, she resumed three more cycles of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy treatment.
Sarah, who also has a young daughter, Sasha, said: “Chemotherapy was a nightmare physically and mentally but it did the trick and, thankfully, reduced my tumour.
“The thought of losing the baby and not coming through this to see my little girl Sasha grow up was sickening. But I tried really hard to push those thoughts to the back of my mind and focus on the treatment.”
Having fallen pregnant naturally after undergoing failed IVF treatment, Sarah and husband Carl’s delight had turned to concern when she noticed a change in one of her breasts.
She initially put it down to the IVF, but tests revealed she had cancer.
“It’s strange because I wasn’t ill before my diagnosis,” said Sarah. “I was hardly ever poorly. I never had any warning signs.”
Now she is preparing to run the Race for Life with Team Beck, and has been chosen to start the countdown on Sunday, July 20.
She has already raised more than £2,000 for Cancer Research UK.
“I feel so blessed now,” said Sarah. “We have our beautiful little girl and precious baby. I can’t believe that just months ago all this was at risk. I have never valued life so much.”
To sponsor Sarah visit online at: www.justgiving/sarahlouisewilliams40.