In 2017, Fiona Baber celebrated 5 years since her breast cancer diagnosis, by taking on an incredible series of marathons.
The 55 year old GP from Fareham in Hampshire successfully finished the “3 Land Challenge”, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk. The Challenge is made up of The MoonWalk London, The MoonWalk Scotland and The MoonWalk Iceland – three 26.2 miles overnight walking marathons, completed in just five weeks. Walkers take on their marathons wearing Walk the Walk’s trademark brightly decorated bras.
For Fiona, walking has been her therapy, since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and she believes it’s helping to prevent her breast cancer coming back. She says: “I always enjoyed walking, even before I got breast cancer and I had already done one MoonWalk London. But after being diagnosed with breast cancer I have walked even more. I walked during chemotherapy, as those who do, have been shown to deal with it better. I now walk 8-9 miles at least twice a week, as I feel keeping physically fit is important to help prevent recurrence. The walking also helps my mental health which is just as important, if not more. It is my " me" time."
43 year old MoonWalker Emma Budge from Taunton was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, just before her sister very sadly died from the disease.
But Emma completed The MoonWalk London 2017 and continues to make walking a huge part of her life: “Since finishing my cancer treatment, I got into walking as I signed up for The MoonWalk. I found walking has made me feel much healthier, I’ve lost weight, am more aware of what I eat and drink. I don’t think that I have ever felt this well, fit and healthy in my life. I feel that thanks to walking I can handle anything that life throws at me, as my state of mind and health have never been better.”
Breast cancer charity Walk the Walk was founded 21 years ago by Nina Barough CBE – after she dreamt about walking the New York City Marathon with friends wearing decorated bras.
She did just that, but was then diagnosed with breast cancer herself. The famous MoonWalks followed – huge night-time walking events, when thousands of women and men unite to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Walk the Walk has raised a staggering £121 million over the years, which is granted to help fund research into breast cancer and help improve the lives of those with cancer now.
For Nina – walking is still a massive driving force. She’s completed dozens of marathons herself over the years, always wearing a stunning decorated bra. She doesn’t plan to stop any time soon and is one of the biggest advocates of Walking for Health and Fitness you’ll ever meet.
Nina says: “For many years we knew that exercise, diet and nutrition played a part in cancer prevention, but nobody really knew to what extent. Now, through some of the research which Walk the Walk has funded, we know that all of these aspects of our lifestyle do have a huge impact, not only on the prevention of breast cancer, but preventing any disease.
“More than 20 years ago, scientists recognised that walking was almost the perfect exercise. This was because it uses practically every part of your body, both skeletal and muscular and there isn’t another exercise which does that. I think walking is really at the root of everyone being able to take responsibility and a really direct action for their own health and well-being.
“While I was going through my cancer treatment, I found it incredibly calming, very positive and beneficial to my entire being to go out walking. I’m an avid fan of organic foods and the combination of being in control of what I eat and being able to walk, was and is so empowering, which really does support you mentally and physically. It gave me my own little toolbox of how to cope with cancer and life”.
Three inspiring women, for whom walking plays a huge role in their lives and health. Join them at a Walk the Walk challenge in 2018 – sign up now at www.walkthewalk.org.