A NURSE at Worcestershire Royal Hospital who survived bowel cancer is strapping on her running shoes to take on the London Marathon in April.

Oncology nurse Mandy Holdsworth is taking on the 26-mile challenge on Sunday, April 13 to raise money for Beating Bowel Cancer.

The 51-year-old mother-of-three from Tewkesbury was diagnosed with the disease three years ago after a blood test revealed she was severely anaemic.

She said it was “a huge shock” to be diagnosed with the condition.

“I had surgery to remove my tumour and then some chemotherapy,” she said.

“Throughout my treatment I was determined to set a good example for my three children and all my patients so I continued to stay active. I was even back running six weeks after my surgery.

“I promised myself that if I had a clear scan at two years I would apply for the London Marathon. I’m thrilled to be taking part this year.”

She said she had taken up running two years before she was diagnosed and had previously run half marathons, but never a full one.

“I hope to raise £2,000 to go towards Beating Bowel Cancer’s vital work,” she said.

“The charity runs a helpline for patients and their families, giving people crucial information and support.

“My message to people would be that everyone needs to be aware of the symptoms and get help from their doctor if they experience any of the symptoms of bowel cancer.”

Every year more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer, but if caught early it can be treated successfully in more than 90 per cent of cases.

Events fundraising manager at Beating Bowel Cancer Danielle Chamberlain said: “We were incredibly touched by Mandy’s experience of bowel cancer which shows the importance of charity’s like ours which support bowel cancer patients and their families.

“Only through the generous support of fundraisers like Mandy can we continue to help more patients.

“We’re wishing Mandy the best of luck for the marathon and we’ll be cheering her on from the side-lines.”

Symptoms of bowel cancer include a change in bowel habits, bleeding from the bowel or blood in bowel movements. Other symptoms include pain or lumps in the abdomen or unexplained weight loss, tiredness, dizziness or breathlessness. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms for three weeks or more should visit their GP as soon as possible.

To donate to Mandy visit justgiving.com/Mandy-Holdsworth