A 17-year-old from Bideford who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year is running a half marathon for charity.
Natalie Cole will be taking on the Bath Half Marathon in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust in March next year.
She was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in April and has been having treatment since.
“I went to the GPs as I had a lump on my neck,” said Natalie.
“They thought it was a viral infection. In April, six months after I had noticed the lump, it was removed and two weeks later I was told it was cancer.”
As a young adult with cancer, Natalie had the option of being supported by Lorraine, a Teenage Cancer Trust funded nurse during her cancer journey, whose support has been invaluable.
Natalie said: “She told me that she was there to support me; that there was no such thing as a stupid question and I could ask her anything.
“I could obviously talk to my parents about stuff but Lorraine had the medical knowledge and that was really useful.”
Following the removal of the lump, Natalie has had more surgery and will be on medication for the rest of her life.
She did not have to undergo chemotherapy but is awaiting radioiodine treatment.
Her treatment still makes her feel incredibly tired, however she has still been able to go to college and has decided to run the Bath Half Marathon on March 17 in aid of the charity which has helped her so much.
“I haven’t done much running before but I am going to run the Bath Half next year to raise money for the charity,” she said.
“It will be about a year since I was diagnosed and I thought it would be a good thing to aim for.
“When I met Lorraine I knew I wanted to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.
“Lorraine has introduced me to other young people going through a similar thing as she organises nights out for young people with cancer.
“It is great to know that I wasn’t the only one going through this.”
Anyone looking to take on a challenge can still sign up for a charity place in the Bath Half in aid of Teenager Cancer Trust.
The charity educates young people in schools about cancer to help improve the speed and quality of diagnosis.
Find out more at www.teenagecancertrust.org