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Meet Donna.

Donna is raising money for Tenovus Cancer Care, after receiving support from our counselling service

When Donna, 47, was diagnosed with breast cancer early last year, she knew her body was about to undergo treatments that would change her.

What she hadn’t reckoned on was the psychological impact of also trying to put a "positive face" on it. 

It was after finishing treatment Donna felt unsure how to move on. She was glad the surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were over, but she was feeling lost. 

“I was feeling and looking rubbish, said Donna, a teacher from Neath Port Talbot.” I just kept thinking what happens now. Is that it? Am I clear? How do I move on?”

It was after her last treatment that Tenovus Cancer Care checked in on Donna. She burst into tears and couldn’t stop crying. 

Donna had received support for our nurses throughout, but it was only in that moment the "dam burst" and she let her true feelings out. 

She hadn't wanted to burden her close network of friends and family with the difficult feelings she was experiencing.

She was referred to the counselling service by a support nurse at Tenovus Cancer Care who helped her process her feelings.

It helped me massively to start healing. I had been stuck. I'd hit the pause button.

The first thing my counsellor told me was that I was like a pressure cooker. I’d buried so much stuff and I couldn’t move on and function until I’d worked through those feelings. 

Counselling with Tenovus Cancer Care is a free service that works on a referral basis, and I want others to have that same support. That’s why I am doing a sponsored walk - to say thank you for that support.

This weekend, Donna will walk the 42 miles from Cardiff's Velindre Cancer Hospital to Singleton Hospital in Swansea, where she was treated.

She will walk it alongside family and friends - one year after her last operation. 

“It’s a year on, and this walk is all part of my healing. I know people who have had cancer and haven’t survived. 

I’m still here and I’ve had so much support. This is a little bit of payback. I have a future and I am so lucky.”

Donna has always loved walking her dog and regularly walks on the beach and in the countryside with her husband and children, but she has never walked this far. She’s been practicing with friends and her family and have already done a recce. 

“We’ve driven and checked the route. This weekend, we'll be wearing our Tenovus Cancer Care T-shirts, shaking our buckets, and at one point, we’ll pass the ‘In It Together Festival’ in Margam. 

We’re starting at 5am outside Velindre Hospital. The plan is to walk the 42 miles in 24 hours. We recently did 30 miles in one day, so I think we can do it.

It will hurt, but even if we crawl in at 4.30am we'll do it!" 

Donna's original fundraising target was £500 but has already raised more than £2,000. 

If you have been moved by Donna's story, please consider donating to Tenovus Cancer Care

If you or someone you love has been affected by cancer, our free Support Line is there for you. Just call 0808 808 1010