‘Each precious moment is a joy’: Cancer sufferer aims to complete bucket list and raise vital Christie funds

A former teacher battling an incurable cancer has had her life extended by specialists at The Christie – allowing her to try and complete her bucket list and raise funds for charity.

Sue Butterworth, from Chorlton, has already raised more than £3,000 for The Christie charity since being diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2013.

And she has further plans to add to that by scaling the three highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales.

The former special needs teacher at Piper Hill Specialist Support School in Newall Green, Wythenshawe, has also got married, travelled to Iceland to witness the Northern Lights and visited New Zealand to see her father and sister as part of her bucket list.

And she is hoping to tick more off her list whilst raising as much as she can for a charity close to her heart.

“The Christie has bought me much valuable time – without the treatments I would probably not be here now,” said Sue.

“The Christie has managed my cancer so well that I am fit and symptom-free with no side effects. If it wasn’t for my diagnosis and lack of hair, it would be difficult to know I even have cancer.

“When I got my initial diagnosis, it felt like my life was over. I couldn’t believe that after looking after myself all my life I had cancer. 

“With the amazing support of The Christie, they enable me to live my life to the full.  Each precious moment is a joy and there is a lot of life to live.”

Other moments to mark off her list include riding Japan’s bullet train, travelling around the UK in a camper van and holding a wig party with friends.

Consultant oncologist at The Christie, Dr Anne Armstrong, said clinical trials as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy have helped extend Sue’s life after the cancer spread to her liver, brain and bones.

“Modern treatment of secondary breast cancer, particularly for patients with the type of cancer Sue has, improves survival by months and sometimes by a small number of years,” she said.

“It is very important that patients like Sue are willing to enter into clinical trials of new drugs to make treatment of cancer in the decades to come even more effective.”

One of the drugs used to treat Sue during the trials, Pertuzumab, is now available to patients in England.

Image courtesy of The Christie, with thanks

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