Clevedon cancer survivor takes on 13mile marathon

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 March 2020

Polly Atherton (middle) with her mother and sister

Polly Atherton (middle) with her mother and sister


A breast cancer survivor from Clevedon has raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Polly and Jack who will be running together in BathPolly and Jack who will be running together in Bath

Polly Atherton, aged 25, was diagnosed with cancer on May 16 last year after finding a lump on the day she was due to run Bristol 10k.

Following her cancer diagnosis, Polly had a double mastectomy in June last year and has since had six rounds of chemotherapy. She now has to have monthly injections to suppress her ovaries.

Polly took on the 13.1-mile challenge in Bath to raise money for CLIC Sargent, the leading charity for children and young people with cancer, which supported her throughout her treatment.

She remained positive throughout her journey and continued a huge passion of hers throughout treatment - to run.

Polly at her final chemoPolly at her final chemo

The trainee tax advisor, who raised more than £2,000, said: 'My mum had breast cancer when she was 46, and my grandma had breast cancer in her 60s. Her sister had died of breast cancer aged 36, and their mum had died of it, too.

'Doctors put my sister and me at a 70-80 per cent risk that we would get breast cancer. But, because the chance of getting cancer before 30 was low, I wasn't as worried about getting the mastectomy until then, and I kept putting it off. Hindsight is great, but I just didn't think I would get cancer aged 24.

'The injections essentially are putting me into the menopause. I'm also at increased risk of ovarian cancer, and so I will have my ovaries taken out in the next couple of years - I just don't know when yet. It's strange to go through so much so young but, because of that, you remain detached from it.

'I like to think cancer hasn't impacted my life. Running has always been a big part of my life. The week after I had chemo, I couldn't run or do anything, but, slowly, I've picked it back up and could jog again.

'The training is going well. Already when I look back to where I was before treatment, I remember I have just gone through six months of chemotherapy, and I know I will get there.'

Sarah Manion, CLIC Sargent's Sports and Challenges Manager, praised Polly's effort.

She said: 'We are completely in awe of Polly and her amazing enthusiasm and determination.'

To sponsor Polly, visit

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