Victoria Derbyshire talks with fellow breast cancer survivor about wigs, hair loss and moving on

Cancer Research UK

Victoria Derbyshire shares her experience with fellow breast cancer survivor

BBC journalist shares her experience with fellow breast cancer survivor to support Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life

As part of her training for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, Victoria jogged 5k to deliver a gift to Sharon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 14 weeks pregnant. Most cases of breast cancer are in the over 50s, so it’s unusual to develop the disease at Sharon’s age, and especially when pregnant. Victoria was one of over 20 runners who made deliveries to cancer patients and survivors across London to encourage people to sign up to Race for Life.

“Sometimes I can’t believe it happened. Most of the time it’s almost a distant memory, not all the time obviously, I’ve got different hair and all that. I just want to be with my family and friends and have a really nice time for the rest of my life.” - Victoria Derbyshire 

The BBC journalist met Sharon, 41, in her home in west London. After being diagnosed with stage three triple negative breast cancer last year, Sharon had a lumpectomy and chemotherapy, and radiotherapy after giving birth. Victoria Derbyshire was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of July 2015 and underwent a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment.

Before Sharon was diagnosed she was a keen jive dancer, so Victoria presented her with a new dress and shoes to wear on the dancefloor.

Victoria Derbyshire said: “It was amazing to meet Sharon as part of my training for Race for Life. I know what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer, but can’t imagine hearing that news while you’re pregnant - Sharon has shown such strength. We spoke about the kind of emotions we both experienced, and it’s brilliant to see Sharon and her baby doing so well now. I’m really grateful that Sharon and I were able to receive treatment. Others aren’t as fortunate - which is why it’s vital to continue life-saving research into how to overcome this disease. Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life funds work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer so I would love all women to join me and sign up for their local event. It doesn’t matter if you raise £10 or £100, every pound will help towards overcoming cancer.”

Sharon Grant said: “It was great meeting Victoria today and hearing her story. We had some similar experiences, so it was quite emotional talking through it all with her. I was so touched by the gift and it will remind me that I’m on the road to recovery.  I encourage people to sign up to take part in Race for Life and raise money to fund more research – it really will save lives.”

Alongside Sharon, Race for Life runners made a special delivery to four-year-old Karos Rasoul. Karos was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour in July 2015 when he was just two years old and finished treatment in July 2016. His favourite superhero is Batman so was given a Batman fancy dress outfit and action figure. Fermisk Rasoul, Karos’s mother, said: “Karos was thrilled to get a delivery from the Race for Life runners and loved his present. He’s been through some tough times and has shown such bravery it was lovely to see him smiling, he’s my little hero.”

Race for Life has over 300 events taking place across the UK from May. Participants can choose between a 5k or 10k route or get their hands dirty at Pretty Muddy, a 5k obstacle course. Women can walk, jog or run the events, and can sign up as a group too.

Whether running for themselves, a loved one or friend, all Race for Life events give women the opportunity to make an impact in beating cancer. Since it began, Race for Life has raised £790 million. Cancer Research UK recently announced the largest investment to date into its network of Centres across the UK, a unique chain of cutting-edge research hubs that focus on translational research – getting discoveries from the laboratory to patients sooner. £190 million has been committed to 13 Cancer Research UK Centres over the next five years.

Run, walk, jog or hike and sign up right now at raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on +44 203 469 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on +44 7050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

About Race for Life

  • Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco can be entered at raceforlife.org via the hotline on 0300 123 0770
    Race for Life raises money that goes towards beating all 200 types of cancer affecting both men and women
    The entry fee for 5k and 10k is £14.99 for adults and £10 for girls 16 and under. This covers the costs of staging the event series and means that money raised in sponsorship can go to help beat cancer
    Race for Life’s Pretty Muddy is open to women and girls 13 and over. The entry fee is £19.99 for adults and £10 for girls 13 – 15years
    The Race for Life full marathon is £39.99 and the half marathon is £29.99