Published: 00:01, 19 April 2019
| Updated: 08:05, 19 April 2019
A mother-of-two discovered she had an ovarian cyst the size of a rugby ball only because she had been trying to lose weight.
Claire Bootes, from Minster, joined a Slimming World group with her husband Jim in 2001.
The 48-year-old said: “Jim had really high blood pressure and I’d always struggled with my weight so we thought we’d give it a go.”
Up until 2013, Claire had lost four stone and put it on again.
“Verity Doherty, who runs the Minster Slimming World group, tried to help me lose the weight in so many different ways, but nothing was working,” she said.
“She then suggested I go to see the GP, who sent me for a scan.
“Despite having no symptoms or pain, it showed I had an ovarian cyst the size of a rugby ball – I couldn’t believe it. It was like being the size of a full-term pregnancy and when they drained it, they drained nine litres of fluid.”
Claire added: “It turned out to be a borderline tumour and within 15 weeks from seeing the GP, I’d had a full hysterectomy.
Our lives have certainly changed for the better...” Claire Bootes
“I was extremely lucky. If it’d been left any longer, it would have been a further stage of cancer, so joining that Slimming World group saved my life.”
All in all, Claire has lost six-and-a-half stone and Jim, also 48, has lost just under three stone.
Claire said: “Jim hasn’t had to go onto any medication for his blood pressure because he has lost weight and has stabilised it.
“Our lives have certainly changed for the better.”
The couple, who have been married for 24 years, are now celebrating after winning the group’s Couple of the Year 2019 competition. Their fellow slimmers voted for them to win the award last Monday, April 8.
Claire said: “We feel honoured and very humbled. Our message to others is don’t ever be ashamed of dieting, don’t feel like you’re on your own, we see our group now as our family because everybody understands and there’s no judgement.”
She added: “Verity is amazing too, she really is an inspiration.”
For more on the group, call Verity on 07866 806180.