Laura Battle, who survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma, urges people to back Cance Research UK's January campaign.
As the countdown to the festive party season starts, a Scots cancer survivor is already planning to put the drinks on ice in January to help raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Laura Battle, from Penicuik, will be taking on the charity’s Dryathlon to say thank you for the treatment which saved her life after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Dryathlon is Cancer Research UK’s popular fundraising campaign which invites social drinkers to get sponsored and take a month-long break from alcohol.
Laura, 30, who works as a medical research scientist, is celebrating three years of being cancer free by raising money for the charity.
She had just returned from travelling to exotic destinations in South America and Africa when she became ill and doctors initially thought she had a tropical disease.
So when tests on a lump in her neck eventually revealed she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, it was a complete shock.
Laura said: “I’ve always been very healthy and active so it didn’t cross my mind that I had cancer. It was a complete shock and it shows it can happen to anyone.
Her treatment at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh involved her enrolment in a Cancer Research trial to improve treatment for patients.
She added: “I wanted to take part in Dryathlon to say thank you to Cancer Research UK because I feel the work the scientists do saved my life. I feel if it wasn’t for the research the charity carries out, I wouldn’t be here today.
“I think Dryathlon will be hard as my birthday is in January but I have got a lot of my friends involved so hopefully, with their support and if we are all sober together, it will still be a very happy birthday.
“I think it is important to set yourself goals and challenges but the most important part is raising money for what is an amazing charity.”
Almost 4,000 people took on the Dryathlon 2015 challenge, raising a fantastic £605,000 to help beat 200 types of cancer. Cancer Research UK hopes that even more people across Scotland will join Laura and pledge to give up alcohol in January 2016.
Since it launched in 2013, over 170,000 people have taken part in Dryathlon across the UK and helped raise a fantastic £17 million to help beat cancer sooner.