Richmond firefighter battling breast cancer plans to take on marathon challenge

Tanya, right, with wife Charlie and their boys John and Harry.

A Richmond firefighter battling breast cancer has set her sights on running a marathon in the famous Death Valley for charity.

Tanya Liversedge-Gell was diagnosed in November last year.

Since then, she has had a double mastectomy and had her lymph nodes removed.

The mother-of-two, who has two five-year-old twins John and Harry, has now begun a course of chemotherapy to rid her body of any remaining cancerous cells.

Tanya has been a retained firefighter for five years and became a full-time firefighter four months before her diagnosis.

In a frank post online, Tanya thanked her wife Charlie and colleagues at Richmond Fire Station for their support and talked of her fears about the cancer.

The 39-year-old said her illness had been particularly difficult for her family because her mum died of breast cancer in 2004.

She said: “I have only really ever had two massive fears. One was a rather irrational one at the beginning. I was petrified that my boys would be too young to remember me when they grew up.”

Tanya said the other fear was that she found the cancer herself and if she hadn’t it would have gone untreated until it was too late.

She added: “It was not a lump, I just knew something “felt” different in my breast.

“Subsequently three doctors examined me and assured me there was nothing to worry about, but following referral my instincts led me to having surgery and am now sitting in this chemo chair writing this.

Tanya has urged all women to check their breasts regularly and to immediately contact their doctor if they find anything unusual.

“If I had left this and ignored my gut feeling who knows where I would have been in a few years time,” she added.

In December, a year after Tanya’s first operation she and Charlie will be taking on the Death Valley Marathon in the US.

They hope to raise £5,000 to be split between the Firefighters’ Charity and the South Tees Hospital Charity.

The trip has already been paid for so all money raised will go to charity.

To sponsor Tanya, click here.