'It will stay with me forever' - Breast cancer survivor defies the odds and runs London Marathon
PUBLISHED: 15:48 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 01 May 2019
A breast cancer survivor who ran this year's London Marathon has described the experience as something that will stay with her forever.
When Amanda Pilbeam, 52, of Litcham, was first diagnosed with the disease in August 2016 she was told she would have to give up her love of physical activities.
Before her diagnosis, the driving school owner, who moved to Norfolk last year with her husband David, 66, described herself as “active” by running and walking her dogs as well as taking part in a variety of exercise classes.
Following a left mastectomy and removal of her lymph nodes, she underwent six months of chemotherapy and 15 rounds of radiotherapy. She then had to have a second operation to have her right breast removed.
She was told by her surgeon and breast nurse that after surgery she would no longer be able to continue her physical activities.
But defying all odds, she slowly built her fitness back up and last year decided to run the London Marathon, which took place on Sunday April 28.
During her recovery, the mother-of-two made the decision not to have reconstructive surgery and was supported by the charity Flat Friends. She decided to raise funds for the group which was set up to promote living without reconstruction after having a mastectomy.
She said: “Running the London Marathon was a truly amazing experience. The crowds all the way were amazing and it's something that will stay with me forever.
“I've come a long way since my breast cancer diagnosis in 2016 and it has been wonderful to raise money for Flat Friends, which helped me through my journey.”
So far she has raised £1,330, hundreds more than her initial target, and ran the marathon in a time of 04:58:23.