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Home   Medway   News   Article

Ironman challenge for Jason Atkins after wife Claire Atkins' nightmare breast cancer ordeal

30 March 2014
by Jenni Horn

It should have been a magical time in Claire Atkins’ life, enjoying being a mum to her new baby daughter Rose.

But that happiness was replaced by a nightmare of chemotherapy, two major operations and radiotherapy after she was found to be suffering from an aggressive type of cancer.

Claire had found a lump in her breast while feeding Rose.

Claire Atkins after chemotherapy treatment

Claire Atkins after chemotherapy treatment

 

At first, she was told it was nothing to worry about as it was likely she had a blocked milk duct, a fairly common problem for new mums.

But after what Claire thought was a routine scan, she was given the devastating diagnosis.

Claire hurriedly planned her wedding to partner Jason in just 10 weeks and the couple, of Ferndown Close, Hempstead, married a week before Claire started chemotherapy.

She wanted to walk down the aisle before her treatment began and she lost her hair.

Almost a year to the day since Claire was diagnosed, Jason is taking part in the first of four gruelling challenges for Breast Cancer Care.

He will be running a half-marathon on Mother’s Day today, followed by the Brighton Marathon next Saturday and the London Marathon just seven days later.

Jason and Claire Atkins on their wedding day

Jason and Claire Atkins on their wedding day

To top off his fundraising he will be competing in the Ironman UK triathlon which involves a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon. And Claire will be supporting him every step of the way.

Jason, 39, said: “Claire is my main motivation. At times I have been struggling with my training, when it has been pouring with rain or zero degrees outside but Claire is the one thing that makes a difference.

“She will be at every event. It will be great to have her in the crowd but I think there will be a few tears.”

Claire discovered she had breast cancer while breast feeding their daughter Rose

Claire discovered she had breast cancer while breast feeding their daughter Rose

Claire, who is also mum to Charlie, 17, and Libby, 13, and step-mum to Tommy. 10 and Joe, eight, is due to have a scan in April to find out if her treatment has been successful.

"At times I have been struggling with my training, when it has been pouring with rain or zero degrees outside but Claire is the one thing that makes a difference" - Jason Atkins

The 41-year-old said: “The last 12 months have been very difficult. If we hadn’t had Rose I don’t know how we would have got through it. She kept us going. And if we hadn’t had her, I would have been very unlikely to have found the first lump, so in a way we are very fortunate.”

To sponsor Jason, visit www.justgiving.com/Jason-Atkins9 or text NKOV80 and either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

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