Michelle Brownlie is set for half marathon after battling advanced bowel cancer

A dedicated Kilmarnock woman is putting on her running shoes after battling advanced bowel cancer for two years.

Michelle Brownlie had been a runner for most of her life but after receiving a devastating cancer diagnosis in 2016 the 45-year-old became unable to do the thing she loves most.

“It was like a part of me was missing,” she told the Standard.

“I had been running for about 10 years and in fact one of the reasons I didn’t notice symptoms like weight loss was because I thought that losing weight was just part and parcel of life as a runner.

“During the treatment I wanted to run but my body just wasn’t able.”

Michelle battled through a gruelling six months of treatment including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery to remove part of her bowel, a further operation after part of her bowel twisted and an ileostomy.

In July 2017 she received the all-clear but a scan in January 2018 found that cancer had spread to both her lungs.

She said: “I felt healthy, I was getting back to a really good fitness level and when I found out it had spread to both my lungs it was such a shock - but I always try to stay positive.”

She added: “When I was given the all-clear the first thing I did was get back into training. When I was told that the cancer had spread the training ground to a halt once more as I underwent surgery to remove the tumours. .”

By October Michelle was again recovering and returning to her running shoes. She is now on track to complete the Scottish Half Marathon, running for Bowel Cancer UK.

She said: “There needs to be more awareness of the fact that bowel cancer can affect younger people too.

“Being able to go online and see others who had shared their story with the charity made such a difference.”

posted Wednesday July 3rd
by Tara Fitzpatrick