Cancer sufferer Odette Cisinsky has pledged to spend the last years of her life raising money to help other women fighting the same deadly disease.
Odette was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer 14 months ago and despite chemotherapy and surgery, was given a prognosis of just five years.
The 52-year-old is now aiming to make the most of her time by helping to fundraise and raise awareness of the disease. Odette was being treated for a water infection in December 2011 when, two weeks before Christmas, she had further tests and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She underwent chemotherapy and then surgery to remove a tumour the size of a melon.
The treatment added just six months to her life expectancy.
“To go through all that and be told the operation just gives you an extra six months makes you realise what you will go through for a little extra time,” she said. Odette, who lives in Hunting Hill Road in Crag Bank, was also diagnosed with early stage breast cancer six months ago, which led to further surgery.
And last month she was given the news that she was suffering from osteoporosis in her lower back and hip.
But Odette, who grew up in Carnforth and went to Carnforth High School, is determined to keep fighting with a smile on her face, as well as raising as much money as possible for the Target Ovarian Cancer charity.
This is a national charity which aims to help women to recognise the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
“It just feels like it’s not really happening to me,” said Odette, who has a 24-year-old son, Rhett.
“It’s like a ticking time bomb and I am just trying to keep myself busy now.”
“The only way forward is to deal with this head-on and do my bit to try to make a difference.
“You hear a lot about breast cancer but not much about ovarian cancer.”
According to Target Ovarian Cancer, the UK has one of the worst survival rates for the disease in Europe.
As many as 75 per cent of women are diagnosed after the cancer has spread.
If it was detected at an early stage, 90 per cent of women could survive. Currently only 36 per cent do.
To coincide with March being Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Odette and her partner Diane Hall decided to come up with an event to kickstart their fundraising.
They will be holding a sponsored dog walk from Hest Bank to Half Moon Bay and back, a total of 15 miles, on March 23.
In addition, they are selling tickets for a raffle which includes prizes donated by Jo & Cass, Lancaster Brewery and Revolution.
Anyone interested in taking part in the dog walk or buying raffle tickets can contact Odette on 07429 582854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also donate at http://www.justgiving.com/Odette-Cisinsky.