An inspirational cancer victim from Clitheroe has set up a local support group to help others who are suffering from the disease.
Mum-of-three Tracie Lambert has started Ribble Valley Rainbow Ribbons to support those with cancer and their families who live in the Ribble Valley.
Remarkably, Tracie (45), of Alma Place, will undergo chemotherapy for her ovarian cancer the day after the support group first meets next Tuesday, October 22nd.
Describing herself as a “fellow sufferer with PMA – a Positive Mental Attitude”, Tracie, who is a former pupil of St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School in Clitheroe and St Augustine’s RC High School at Billington, aims to provide a range of support including buddying services, “chemo fog” exercise, plus useful information and telephone support.
If possible, Tracie would also like to raise funds to support cancer sufferers who may be struggling financially.
Tracie, who is mother to Casey (22), Nicky (20) and Libby (10), who is a pupil at St James’ CE Primary School, was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in February 2010.
This was just 75 days before she was supposed to complete a degree in social work.
Operable and treatable, she had emergency surgery to remove the tumour which doctors compared to the size of a baby’s head, then underwent three lots of chemotherapy. After this she had more surgery to remove her cervix, womb, ovaries and omentum, before having three more lots of chemotherapy.
“I was so determined to finish my social work degree and three weeks after my last chemotherapy I went back and completed it,” explained single mum Tracie, who graduated in March 2011 with a 2:1.
To the distress of Tracie and her loved ones, however, the cancer returned in March this year, and although they can “control” it, there is no cure for her this time.
First time round Tracie, who then lived at Preston, said there was no support group for ovarian cancer and she got through it with support from her daughter Casey.
“I wanted to start one, but as I started initially to look into it a woman was commissioned by the NHS to do this so she took over.”
She added that this time round she believes the nearest support group is 20 miles away at Skipton.
“I think it’s really important that a person can be in touch with another person who has gone or is going through the same thing you are,” social worker Tracie explained, adding that she wanted her support group to be as positive and uplifting for people as possible.
Tracie, who has four sisters, and whose mother Betty Lambert lives in Clitheroe, lost her father Keith to lung cancer in December 2010.
Determined to live life to the full despite of her illness Tracie has just returned from a three-night break to Loch Ness, Scotland, a journey she drove herself. She also recently took part in a catapult bungee jump.
The first meeting will be held at St Michael and St John’s Catholic Club, Lowergate, Clitheroe, from 7 to 9 pm. Anyone wanting more details about the support group can contact Tracie on 01200 442587 or 07851 313014.