A Newtownabbey mum-of-three, who lost her own mother to cancer, is taking part in an exciting trek in Cuba next March to raise much-needed funds for a local cancer charity.
Teaching assistant Louise Adams is determined to get fit and complete the arduous five-day trek in memory of her mum, while raising funds for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.
“This is a cause close to my heart. My mum used to talk about Cancer Focus NI all the time because she used some of their complementary therapies, which she found so restoring and relaxing. I thought the trek would be a lovely way to mark my 40th birthday next year and my mum’s fourth anniversary,” she said.
“My mum fought three primary cancers between the ages of 48 and 52. She was first diagnosed with cancer in the kidney and was on dialysis.
“She beat that and then got breast cancer. She came through that and was then told she had ovarian cancer. It was very difficult to see her dealing with all that.”
Louise’s family has been greatly affected by the disease. Her two grandmothers both died from cancer, one pancreatic, the other breast and her grandfather had stomach cancer.
Louise added: “I was driving my son to school one day when I saw a poster for the Cuba trek and said to him, ’I’m going to do that!’ That was it, I just felt I had to do this.
“I’m not at all fit, so it’s going to be a challenge to get in shape. I have climbed Slieve Donard and the buzz when you achieve something like that is incredible. And I’ve been up Cave Hill a few times, but that’s about it. I’ll get stuck into some serious training in the autumn.”
The incredible challenge starts in the vibrant city of Havana, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site and finishes in the colonial old town of Trinidad. Trekkers will hike through Cuba’s spectacular countryside and rural villages learning about the history of this stunning island.
As well as providing support for local people affected by cancer and cancer prevention services, Cancer Focus NI also funds research at Queen’s University Belfast and advocates for better health policies to help future generations.
At the moment Louise is busy fundraising for her trip. If you’d like to make a donation you can find her on Facebook. She is also holding a fundraiser at the Knags restaurant in Glengormley on October 5 including a drag act, Tina Legs, and more. For tickets phone Knags on 028 9084 2266.
If you would like to find out more about the Cuba trek, visit www.cancerfocusni.org/cuba-trek, email email@example.com or call Kathryn on 028 9068 0771.