Officers' personal reasons for taking on Alton Water charity run
Despite the searing heat of a record breaking Early May Bank Holiday weekend, a group of 22 women from Suffolk Constabulary successfully completed the Alton Water 5K and 10K race on Sunday 6 May to raise money for charity and awareness of breast cancer.
For two serving police officers 2017 was a life-changing year after being diagnosed with cancer. Sally Wilson and Emma Arthurs were both diagnosed with breast cancer and have undergone treatment. Emma completed the race despite having faced surgery only four weeks before.
Sally said: “It was an amazing day. It was very hot but it was enjoyable. We had a great turn out with all the ladies in pink and we raised a great amount of money.”
Superintendent Kerry Cutler, who also took part, added: “So far the girls have raised £1,415. It was a really good effort with everyone finishing.
“We also had some additions to our team with a few of our children running with us. It was a good day despite it being very hot.”
In February 2017 PC Emma Arthurs, based at Martlesham PHQ, was diagnosed with breast cancer, having found a lump while getting dressed.
Within six weeks of diagnosis she began the first of a number of treatments which started with six sessions of chemotherapy. This was followed by three lots of surgery including a mastectomy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy.
“Despite the levels of sickness, the weight gain and the baldness the whole process was made easier by the amazing staff at Colchester Hospital's Mary Barron Suite which is where most of the treatments were administered," said Emma.
“As you can imagine it's not the nicest place to be, but despite the darkness of the situation, it was at times the only ray of sunshine as it involved a day out with the most amazing nurses and doctors who really do know their stuff and are happy to be there."
At the same time PC Sally Wilson, based at Landmark House, was also undergoing her own gruelling treatment plan having been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her treatment took place at Ipswich Hospital's radiotherapy suite and lasted many weeks.
Sally said the experience was made easier by the efficient and friendly staff who guided her through the process, making it easier to cope when everything was so uncertain.
Both hospitals provided the ladies with the treatment they required in order to get them back on duty serving the communities they love.
They took part in the Alton Water 5k supported by a team of 20 women police officers who have been key in their recovery.
So far they have raised £1,415 and now hope to raise £2,000, to be split equally between the two hospitals.
In September 2017 Insp Ali Newman ran the Felixstowe 10-mile race and raised £1,000 for Colchester Generals' Mary Barron Suite. This time Ali successfully completed the Alton Water 10k race.
Sally Wilson said: “I was always fit and healthy and active, loved spending time with our dogs and working in the garden, so when I was told I had breast cancer my life dropped out of my arse, unfortunately you think the worst.
“Ipswich Hospital and the oncology department were amazing. Within three weeks of being told I had my operation and then a month after I received a course of radiotherapy. I was amazed when attending this department as to how many other people were going through the same or worse, I just didn't realise.
“For several weeks and months after I felt tired and sore from the radiotherapy but I am now back at work full time and back to normal duties."
Sally said she also wanted to raise awareness of the efforts of those staff and officers that continue to work full-time or part-time while going through treatment for cancer and other illnesses.
If you would like to find out more about Emma and Sally's stories or to donate to their fund please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emmasally.