Mum of two Julia shares her inspirational journey with Purition
As you know, Purition has turned pink this October to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we’ve teamed up with Breast Cancer Care.
We’re also delighted to have partnered up with Shropshire mum-of-two Julia Allinson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.
By sharing Julia’s story we hope to play a small but positive role in raising greater awareness of breast cancer among men and women by encouraging more people to regularly examine their bodies.
If we can also inspire more people to get out there and fundraise then charities like Breast Cancer Care can continue to provide vital support and advice to cancer patients.
Introducing Julia and her story…
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is enough to turn anyone’s world upside down but Julia admits she wasn’t quite prepared for the lasting impact it would have on her life and in particular what she stocks in her larder.
Medical experts diagnosed Julia with breast cancer in 2013 – just a year after losing her husband Geoff to myelodysplasia – a blood disorder which affects the production of white blood cells.
“Our world had already been turned upside down after losing Geoff,” explained Julia, mum to seven-year-old twins Harriet and Grace. “I don’t think it really registered at first what the doctors were telling me. It was all such a blur. In hindsight doctors now believe the shock and stress of losing Geoff may have triggered the cancer.”
Julia, who lives in Admaston, underwent surgery, radiotherapy and also chemotherapy to rid her body of the cancer. And, as one might suspect, it was a challenging and difficult period in her life.
“Recently widowed I was still very much getting use to life on my own with the girls and being diagnosed with cancer just threw a great big spanner in the works,” she said.
“It became really tough looking after the girls with hospital appointments and endless treatment regimes and on top of all that I was still grieving for Geoff. It changed my life and our lives as a family immeasurably.
“There were the obvious emotional feelings to cope with as well as coming to terms with the physical effects of cancer – losing my breast and hair loss – but also the practical day to day issues like having no energy to cook and look after the girls.”
Fast forward three years however, and 40-year-old Julia is slowly getting her life back on track.
Homestart and PANDAS
She now works as the fundraising manager for two well known Shropshire charities – Homestart and PANDAS (Pre and Post Natal Depression Advice and Support) – enjoys life with her two girls and even finds the time for a spot of orienteering with her team recently coming third in the West Midlands Relay Championships.
Julia is also a Cancer Voice for Macmillan Cancer Support and speaks on a local level to raise greater awareness of the charity.
And of course, throughout October she is teaming up with us.
“Life is getting a bit easier but the cancer is still never far from my mind,” she admits. “It changes you, your outlook, your view on life from a philosophical point of view but also from a practical perspective.
“Life is precious. I want to be here for as long as I can so I have to give myself the best chance of being here for many more years. For example I now make very conscious decisions about my diet, the foods I eat and my health in general.
“I’ve always eaten relatively healthily – making sure I get my five a day, but since my battle with cancer I’m far more careful about what I eat. I don’t eat processed foods, I buy organically and avoid anything that may have been sprayed. I choose not to eat dairy products because of the hormone implications and I try not to eat too much gluten or sugary foods.
“I think it’s really important that we all try to eat a healthy balanced diet. It’s quite frightening the amount of new research linking cancer to certain foods.”
Champion healthy eating
Like Julia, our ethos is to champion healthy eating.
It’s our aim to encourage more people to ditch highly processed, sugary foods in favour of those that are more natural and packed full of essential nutrients and minerals.
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