LYMPHOMA survivor Tracy Dixon is preparing to push herself to the limit alongside thousands of fellow runners at the London Marathon in a show of support for blood cancer sufferers – two years to the day since she was diagnosed with the condition.
After developing a lump on her neck, the mother-of-one from Old Town was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2012.
Her health swiftly deteriorated, forcing her to undergo emergency bowel surgery.
Due to her chemotherapy treatment in the days before surgery, her body struggled to cope with the operation and she fell into a coma after the procedure.
She was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Great Western Hospital and her family was warned to prepare for the worst.
Yet she made an unexpected recovery and completed a six-month course of chemotherapy. By November 2012 she was in remission.
Now Tracy, 43, who owns the Run store in Old Town with her husband Liam, is hoping to raise more than £2,000 for the 26-mile race in the capital on April 13 in aid of blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
She said: “When Liam and I were given the news that I had non-Hodgkin lymphoma it turned our world upside down. It was high grade and I needed treatment fast.
“Because of the chemo I could not fight infections and every month I would end up with an infection and be admitted to hospital.
“At times I never thought I would get through it, but I did. After the surgery I went in a coma for five days. I knew the risk of having surgery because I had just had chemo but I pulled through thankfully.”
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system – a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.
It is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and affects 11,500 people each year.
Although her training has been much more taxing than expected, her discomfort and exhaustion has not come close to anything she experienced during the months of aggressive treatment.
“I feel extremely lucky to be running the London Marathon for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and raising money for a charity close to my and my family’s heart,” said Tracy.
“I never thought I would run a marathon and to be honest I never wanted to. But after everything I have been through and for the amazingly brave people I met along the way that were not so fortunate, I really want to do this.
“The training has been hard but I’ve been through worse and I’m sure the finish will be an emotional one.”
To support Tracy, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving .com/TracyDixon