Article : Jonathan White
Photographs: Supplied with permission by Kim Smith
Kim Smith, aged 60 from Acton Bridge, is embarking on the challenge of walking 155 miles in aid of the hospital which helped her recover from breast cancer.
Kim made ten visits to the Breast Care Unit at Leighton Hospital in Crewe whilst being treated for her cancer. The 155 miles represents the total distance she travelled from her Acton Bridge home to the hospital. Although her energy levels are currently low, Kim plans to walk twice a day on weekdays and once a day at weekends to tot up the miles throughout October.
Kim is raising money for the Breast Care Unit via Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity, which supports patients, their families, and staff at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Kim Smith said: “I found my lump on Christmas Eve last year whilst in the shower and I knew immediately it was Breast Cancer.
“I did my Nurse and Midwifery training at Leighton Hospital from 1979 and 1982. I had both my children there in 1984 and 1986. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer there on the 14th January 2020. It seems right and fitting that it is in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which started on Thursday 1st October, that I launch my project ‘Simply the Breast’ where I aim to raise funds to enhance the patient experience at the Breast Care Centre at Leighton Hospital.
“Our first visit to Leighton Hospital was on 7th January and it was there I met my Consultant Mr Archampong and the team on the Breast Care Unit. They were kindness personified and passionate about women’s health. I had my Ultrasound and then biopsies taken from my breast (I had two tumours and an area of concern in my axilla). We went back on 14th January for our diagnosis. It’s just like the advert on the TV, everything in slow motion, the words “you have breast cancer” will stay with us forever. It’s as if the pile of dominoes started to fall as hospital appointments blood test scans etc are all slotted in.
“We decided to call this our adventure and we would have good and not so good days. We were determined to stay as positive as possible throughout with daily rituals that included laughing and singing!
“As my treatment progressed the country went into lockdown. I am one of the luckiest people as I was well into treatment at that point. My saving grace was my role as a Radio Presenter on Radio Northwich. We all presented our daily shows from home. I did my shows throughout my treatment and some days were my not so good days, but the music and the feedback from listeners dealing with their own issues with the lockdown kept me going.
“Now I am cancer free and undergoing three-weekly immunotherapy and antibody therapy at Christie’s Hospital. I am struggling with fatigue which apparently is common but now it’s my turn to give back and the Breast Care Centre at Leighton Hospital is such a worthy recipient.”
Carole Salmon, Community Fundraiser, Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity said: “Since being introduced to Kim in 2018 on Radio Northwich, getting to know her has been pure joy. Her drive and enthusiasm are truly inspirational. I know her fundraising for the Breast Care Unit will be a massive success. Thank you Kim you’re Simply the Best!”
To donate please visit Just Giving.