Inspirational Natalie on the run of her life
Reporter: Gill Potts
Date online: 25 September 2013
Wonder woman Natalie Yates-Bolton has beaten cancer FOUR times — and is now about to do her fifth marathon.
Natalie (46), from Chadderton, has endured 10 operations, 55 radiotherapy sessions and 30 chemotherapy treatments in combating lymphoma, diagnosed when she was 23.
The disease has returned twice, and the treatment caused breast cancer at one point and spread to her skin. But the battling runner has now been cancer disease free since April 2012.
Brave Natalie has continued to work whenever possible — ironically, she’s a nurse. And she has never stopped training as an extreme athlete.
Taking part in the Amsterdam Marathon on her 47th birthday on October 20 will, she says, be “a celebration of being well”.
The Royton Road Runner meember has previously done four marathons and five gruelling triathlons.
“While I was having chemo I couldn’t really run too far so my friends would plan a 14-mile route which was bike friendly and I would ride alongside them,” said Natalie. “But due to the chemo sometimes I would feel a bit weak so they’d be there trying to enjoy a relaxing run and I’d be fainting on them with this big treatment tube sticking out of my chest. They’ve put up with a lot from me.”
But seeing off cancer and pushing her body to the limit of endurance still isn’t enough for Natalie, now a nursing lecturer at Salford University. She has used her experience as a positive to help dozens of others battling cancer.
“If something positive can come out of everything I’ve been through that’s got to be a good thing,” said Natalie, who long since made a vow to live life to the full.
Natalie’s friend and fitness instructor Adele Fraser said her world fell apart when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer two years ago.
“Natalie been a big inspiration to me because she encouraged me to carry on with my life,” she said.
“I thought it was the end, but I looked at Natalie and saw how she coped and it kept me going. She’s amazing.”
“I never think “why me?,” says Natalie, “I have a strong faith and fantastic friends and family. I would say I have had more back from cancer than it’s taken away and I’ve had more positive experiences because of it.
“It’s made me turn my lifetime into one I’ve really wanted to live and I’ve completed a check list of things I’ve always wanted to do. It’s made me value the ordinary times in life and never to take anything for granted.
“When I cross the finishing line at the Amsterdam Marathon I will be well and truly ready to celebrate my 47th birthday and living the rest of my life.”
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