One woman in the UK is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10mins. The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness, and at GiveMeSport, we are honouring four sporting women who have survived and overcome breast cancer.
Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer in women worldwide, and in 2018 there were over 2 million new cases. It is said to be caused by a combination of factors, lifestyle, getting older and significant family history.
In the UK, roughly 9 in 10 women beat breast cancer; here are four female athletes who are also survivors.
Novlene Williams-Mills is a three-time Olympic medalist from Jamaica who competes in 400 metres. In June 2012, before the Olympics, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and told only her husband, Jameel. She later competed in the 2012 games, winning a bronze medal in 4 x 400-metre relay and came fifth in the individual 400-metre race.
Novlene had a double mastectomy and five months after her last operation was back competing, dedicating her next race to “all of the survivors of breast cancer”.
Karen Newman is a seven-time all American Triathlete, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46. It took two years for her diagnosis as originally her tests came back clear.
Karen had chemotherapy, four surgeries and went under radiation, this was not enough, however, to stop her as she raced the World Championships during her chemotherapy.
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Jen Hanks is a professional mountain biker, thriving in the sport since 2006 was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a small lump in her breasts. Jen had four surgeries and chemotherapy and was later cleared of cancer.
Jen Hanks has a blog called ‘Athlete Fights Cancer,’ where she provides the training schedule she used during her chemotherapy and still races professionally.
Edna Campbell played in the WNBA in the early 2000s and helped secure the USA a gold medal in the 1998 FIBA World Championships.
In her fourth year at WNBA, Edna was diagnosed with breast cancer but came back that year to play her sport while having treatment. Edna survived breast cancer and continued to play more seasons before retiring.
Edna Campbell is the founder of 'Breathe and Stretch,’ a health restoration program made for breast cancer survivors.
Each of these women did not let breast cancer prevent them from doing what they love, but fought the disease despite all odds.
Many other women are affected by breast cancer but we all can offer our help and support through donating to charities - which can happen all year round - such as The Pink Ribbon FoundationandBreast Cancer Now.
Many brands will be part of raising awareness for Breast Cancer this month such as vans, Ralph Lauren, Bobbi Brown and along with FAWSL women's football team West Ham women.
The West Ham women's football team have released a limited edition pink football shirt to raise funds for Breast Cancer Now, a UK leading charity that "helps people cope with the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer." The team will be wearing the shirts throughout October and will debut them on the 6th during their warmup for their WSL game against Tottenham.
You can also start your Wear it Pink campaign with Breast Cancer Now on the 18th of October at your school, work or in your community where you're encouraged to wear pink and raise money.