Cancer survivor Andi raises funds for research

PUBLISHED: 08:01 06 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:45 08 May 2019

Andi Darbey is doing a charity bike ride. Ref mhh 17 19TI 3198. Picture: Terry Ife

Andi Darbey is doing a charity bike ride. Ref mhh 17 19TI 3198. Picture: Terry Ife

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Andi Darbey owes her life to cancer research and treatment, and is among a group taking part in the Women V Cancer bike ride in London

Andi Darbey is doing a charity bike ride. Ref mhh 17 19TI 3205. Picture: Terry IfeAndi Darbey is doing a charity bike ride. Ref mhh 17 19TI 3205. Picture: Terry Ife

A Whimple woman who beat breast cancer is gearing up for a cycling challenge to help fund further research into diagnosis and treatment.

Police dog handler Andi Darbey and a group of friends will take part in Women V Cancer Ride the Night in London on Saturday, May 25 - a 100km cycle around the streets of the capital.

She hopes to raise around £2,500 from the ride, and to increase public awareness about breast cancer.

"Cancer can affect anybody - I was fit and healthy, and had been all my life," she said. She was diagnosed in June 2018 after noticing a change to the firmness of her right breast. "I was told that it was an aggressive cancer, which had spread to my lymph nodes, but it was treatable with chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy."

Thanks to the treatment and a mastectomy, the cancer has gone, leaving Andi at no higher risk than any other woman.

"Maybe five years ago, without the research that has happened since, I probably wouldn't have been here," she said. "I want to show that this is what we need to do, we need more research so that we have more survivors.

A keen runner and cyclist, Andi continued doing as much exercise as she could during her treatment, even completing a 30-mile tandem bike ride two days after a dose of chemotherapy.

"My motivation came from seeing my two-year-old son running around, and knowing I needed to stay fit and healthy to keep up with him. I was also really keen to get back to my dream job.

"I'm quite stubborn and I don't want to let it beat me. I'm back at work on reduced hours now and I don't need to be back, but I'm not going to let it affect my life."

Andi will ride the 100km on a tandem, lent by The Bike Shed in Crediton, with her friend Kirsty Saundercock. The group are also grateful to LED Leisure in Honiton, who have offered them a free spinning class to help their fitness training as they prepare for the ride.

To donate to Andi's fundraising, please click here

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