Breast cancer survivor says ‘someone’s looking out for me’

Tesco Extra Hartlepool Race for Life entrants
Tesco Extra Hartlepool Race for Life entrants

Angie Dawson believes someone is looking down on her after a surprise letter led to the early diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer.

Angie received a letter from the hospital asking to her to go for a random screening.

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life.  Picture by FRANK REID

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life. Picture by FRANK REID

She does not know why she got it as the NHS Breast Screening Programme usually does not start until the age of 50.

And although the screening programme is currently being extended from the ages of 47 to 73, Angie is only 46.

She almost did not go for her appointment, but is now very glad that she did.

On Sunday, Angie, who works at Tesco Extra in Hartlepool, will join hundreds of women for the annual Race for Life to help the fight against cancer.

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life.  Picture by FRANK REID

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life. Picture by FRANK REID

She said: “Even my surgeon doesn’t know why I got the letter. It is very lucky I did because I had no symptoms at all.

“Somebody must be looking down on me somewhere. I wasn’t even going to go.

“The only reason I went was because it was an hour out of work.”

In early March, Angie, from Rift House, had two biopsies and was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer just a few days later.

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life.  Picture by FRANK REID

Angie Dawson who is taking part in The 207 Race For Life. Picture by FRANK REID

Within a week, she had an operation at the University Hospital of North Tees to remove a lump and tests showed that fortunately all cancerous cells were removed by it.

Just over a week ago, Angie completed three weeks of radiotherapy at James Cook hospital.

She said: “It came as a major shock. The hardest part was telling my family.”

Her experience inspired Angie to enter this year’s Race for Life, which takes place on Sunday morning at Seaton Carew.

She will push her eight-month-old graddaughter Emmie-Leigh round the course in her pushchair, and be joined by family including her daughters Beth, 23, and Evie, 17.

Angie will also run alongside a number of her colleagues from Tesco.

She said: “I think this will be my fourth. It hadn’t crossed my mind to do it this year but with finishing radiotherapy I thought I might get more sponsorship if I did it.”

Angie’s colleagues say they are delighted to see her recovering so well and has given them an extra reason to support Race for Life.

Selina Wilson, store community champion, said: “Angie has 18 years service at the store and is a very popular colleague.

“She always has time to share a smile and have a laugh, or an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on if you need it, often to a fault of herself.

“I’m proud to call her one of my best friends and I think she’s an exceptional person.”

Tesco has been partnered with Cancer Research UK since 2002 helping to deliver Race for Life around the UK.

The event is always well supported by Tesco Extra Hartlepool colleagues as so many of them have been touched or affected by the illness.

Mark Arnold, non-food trading manager said, “Cancer has touched the lives of so many of our work friends and colleagues over the years, it’s fantastic to see our girls pulling together to fundraise for a great cause, the positive morale and pulling together, we’re proud of them all.”

You can sponsor Angie at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emmieraceforlife