Not many mums would chose to run the Warwick Half-Marathon in the middle of chemotherapy.
But then not many mums are like Karen Smith, who has already raised £3,500 for charity after donating her long dark hair to the Little Princess Trust to be turned into wigs for children undergoing the same treatment.
On March 22 Karen plans to line up for the race, just ten days after her fourth cycle of chemotherapy at Warwick Hospital.
The 43-year-old insists: “I don’t want to be dictated to be a load of chemicals. I’ve always been active and enjoy running.
“I’ll be taking part with my brother, Matthew, who has spondylitis in his back, and we will be raising money for both the British Heart Foundation, which sponsors the half-marathon, and the Aylesford unit at Warwick Hospital where I have treatment.”
It was last December, shortly after the devastating diagnosis of an aggressive tumour, that Karen decided to play a positive part in her fight against cancer.
The mother-of-three heard about the Little Princess Trust and immediately booked an appointment to have her hair cut and restyled before it fell out as treatment began.
As a result she raised £3,500 for the trust.
Now, as well as the British Heart Foundation, she wants to help the hospital.
Karen said: “I chose the Aylesford unit because the staff there are absolutely wonderful and provide such a good service not only to patients but also support to their families.
“I had no idea how much the unit relies on donations. Essential pieces of equipment, such as machinery for inserting lines into people who don’t have good enough veins for the treatment, are purchased through donations alone.
She added: “My oncologist says I’m the first patient he knows to run a half-marathon in the middle of chemotherapy so I thought that might be useful in attracting some more sponsorship for two very good causes.”
Karen might well also attract a few cheers along the 13-mile route.
To support her visit www.justgiving.com/Karen-Smith87/