Cancer survivor says running helped her to feel in control of her life

The Press, 5 January 2020

Karen Liesching-Schroder

A tongue cancer survivor has described how running helped her to feel in control of her life during treatment.

Karen Liesching-Schroder, who ran a half marathon two weeks after finishing radiotherapy, said: “The fact that I could run all the way through really helped.”

Macmillan Cancer Support recently praised an NHS initiative to offer newly diagnosed cancer patients a “prehab” regime of three fitness sessions a week, saying it could help them to prepare both physically and mentally for treatment, reclaim a sense of control and improve their health in the long term.

Karen with husband Ian (left) and running buddy Keith Passingham (Handout/PA)

Karen, 47, a school nursery nurse from Rochford, Essex, told the PA news agency: “Once you start it all, you have to attend all these appointments. You are not getting any say in it.

“You meet some amazing people but sometimes you are waiting around for that appointment and you can’t get on with anything.”

Karen, who had surgery then radiotherapy and had to stop driving while taking morphine, said she felt she was losing control of her own life. Preparing for the half marathon gave her a focus.

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