Lancaster businesswoman to mark 20 years since rare bone cancer diagnosis with fundraising event
A businesswoman who beat a rare form of cancer is now helping raise money to help others as she marks 20 years since her diagnosis.
Siobhan Courtney, who is managing director of Eventus Legal (part of the Eventus Recruitment Group), has organised for a disco and raffle to be held at The Herbarium in Lancaster next weekend.
The Herbarium is owned by Lucie Carrington, who Siobhan met through their joint experience of cancer.
Siobhan was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma on September 6 2001, a condition predominantly found within teenagers.
She was 28 at the time and had a six-week-old daughter, Olivia.
"I was considered old to get the disease," she said. "I am fine now thankfully, and that’s testament to the research that BCRT do as if I had been diagnosed 10 years earlier (without the research) I would have been a different story.
"I also now have an 11-year-old daughter Felicity and have my business in the centre of town and about to open a second office of the business in Cheshire.
"Having cancer definitely changes your outlook and gives you a new zest and determination to succeed that you never knew you had which has definitely been the case for Lucie and myself."
Former Lancaster Girls' Grammar School pupil Olivia is now studying bio-medicine at university, and undertaking her dissertation on bone cancer.
Siobhan has been fundraising over the years for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and Teenage Cancer Trust - which is where she met Lucie, herself a bone cancer survivor, who owns The Herbarium.
"When I decided to hold a fundraiser to raise monies and awareness for this very little known cancer, the obvious choice was to hold it there,"Siobhan said.
"I also wanted to hold it in the city where my head office of my business is and has become my adopted hometown."
The event, on September 11, aims to raise awareness and funds for the Bone Cancer Research Trust, and Siobhan hopes local businesses will get involved by offering prizes for the raffle.
Siobhan added: “Raising awareness is the key to saving a life and we need to talk about it in schools, as it’s so common in that age group.
"I was one of the lucky ones and NHS staff were my absolute gods. My team have been amazing with supporting me with this challenge and we can’t thank everyone who sponsored us enough.”
A survey of 394 primary bone cancer patients, survivors and bereaved families showed one in four patients (26 per cent) had waited more than seven months before receiving a diagnosis – with 13 per cent waiting more than a year.
The Bone Cancer Research Charity revealed a quarter of all patients (26 per cent) made seven or more visits to their GP or other healthcare professional before receiving a diagnosis.
According to the charity, patients are faced with a five-year survival rate of just over 50 per cent.
You can find out more about the Bone Cancer Research Trust by going online here.