Cancer survivors mark a milestone

CANCER SURVIVORS Sue Crowther, Karen Kilburn and Linda Birch
CANCER SURVIVORS Sue Crowther, Karen Kilburn and Linda Birch

A group of friends bound together by cancer celebrated personal landmarks in keeping the disease at bay.

Karen Kilburn threw a party with her friends to mark a 10 year milestone since she was first diagnosed with cancer and to raise money for cancer care in Dewsbury.

Karen, of Derwent Road, said: “If it came back now people would say I shouldn’t have had the party, but it’s just about getting it off my back.

“I threw a party to get us all together and show that there is light at the end of that diagnosis.

“All my friends definitely have the same fight in them.”

Karen, 63, said the group had a shared understanding of what people who suffer from the disease have to go through.

“I have had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed by five years of tablets,” she said.

“When you don’t take tablets for a further five years and the cancer doesn’t return they say it’s gone.

“We are beating it.”

Among the friends who celebrated with Karen at Mr Smith’s in Wakefield Road was Linda Birch, who celebrated 11 years since she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

They were joined by Karen Naylor, who marked 10 years since she her breast cancer diagnosis and Sue Crowther, who marked nine years surviving breast cancer and an even longer period of time surviving bladder and skin cancer.

Lynda Cooper marked eight years surviving thyroid cancer and Pat Tripp celeb rated eight years surviving bladder and lung cancer.

Meanwhile, Karen’s niece, Beverley, is currently undergoing treatment after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Karen said that she and friends Linda and Sue, who worked together at HSBC, were each diagnosed within a few years of each other, which showed how many people cancer affects.

A raffle and cupcake sale raised £415 for cancer care in the town.

Karen said: “It was just a lovely day.”