Falkirk’s Linda out to spread the cancer warning

Linda Griffiths and labrador Lenny who will both be taking part in the Walk for One Million at Callendar Park on October 4
Linda Griffiths and labrador Lenny who will both be taking part in the Walk for One Million at Callendar Park on October 4

After trekking in the Himalayas, a 10k fundraiser should be a walk in the park for Linda 
Griffiths.

But the event in Callendar Park on October 4 will be her chance to raise awareness of ovarian cancer – the condition that she was diagnosed with two years ago.

The former Falkirk Council registrar kept herself fit, whether it was striding out to work in the Stenhousemuir office from her Falkirk home, walking her neighbour’s dog in Dollar Park or going hillwalking with husband David.

But out of the blue in September 2012 she was gripped by severe stomach pains. The out-of-hours doctor service recommended she take paracetamol, but when she was still experiencing the pain the next morning she headed to Forth Valley Royal’s A&E unit.

Linda (61) said: “I was given morphine, kept in overnight and had an ultrasound and CT scan. But when the nurse came and drew the curtains round my bed then held my hand, I knew that I had cancer.

“She said there was a mass which could be a cyst, but I realised that it was likely to be cancer.

“Thinking back, I realised that I had some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer – going to the toilet more frequently and I was slowing down a bit when walking, but I put that down to an operation in the June to have a melanoma removed from my leg.

“However, I never had bloating which is one of the symptoms.”

In the next few months she underwent a gruelling regime of chemotherapy at the Beatson unit in Glasgow and surgery. However, her strong will and determination to beat cancer saw her back hillwalking, albeit at a slower pace, within weeks of finishing her treatment.

When she heard about the Walk for One Million taking place in Falkirk, she decided it was the perfect opportunity to join in to help raise awareness.

Organised by charity Target Ovarian Cancer, it is the first of a planned series of walks in Scotland to make one million women aware of the symptoms.

Along with two friends and her neighbour’s chocolate Labrador Lenny, Linda will be hoping to help achieve that.

To find out more or take part call 0845 609 9330 or visit www.targetovarian.co.uk/wfom.