NHS chief signs up for fundraiser after breast cancer diagnosis

An NHS chief has signed up for the MoonWalk after a lump she thought was a cyst turned out to be breast cancer.

Christine McLaughlin, chief finance officer for NHS Scotland, hopes to raise awareness – and cash – by taking part in the June fundraiser in Edinburgh.

The MoonWalk, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk, has to date raised more than £21.3 million to support people with the condition.

Ms McLaughlin, director of health finance at the Scottish Government, was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer in October last year.

She said: “I’d felt a very obvious lump in my breast and assumed it was a cyst.

“I’d been really healthy up until that point and had no history of breast cancer in my immediate family.

“Having said that, I had a very strong awareness of breast cancer and I also have a twin sister whose work is in developing oncology drugs.

“But it still wasn’t really in my mind that the lump would be cancer and I was convinced it was nothing to worry about.”

Ms McLaughlin has recently finished six rounds of chemotherapy over 18 weeks and is having a lumpectomy later this month, followed by radiotherapy.

She said: “A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the Breast Cancer Unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and I saw a sign on the wall celebrating the grants which Walk the Walk has made.

“I’d already signed up for The MoonWalk Scotland at that point, but I hadn’t told everyone I was taking part, or indeed about my breast cancer.

“Having seen that Walk the Walk sign and the positive impact of the grant first hand, it gave me the courage to be more public about my own diagnosis and I decided to tweet about my fundraising effort.

“Through doing events like The MoonWalk and raising money, my goal is that everyone should be able to get all the help and support they need at whatever stage in their own cancer journey.”

To sign up for the event on June 8 go to www.walkthewalk.org

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