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Mum climbing high to mark cancer heroes

Regina Coulon climbed Kilimajaro in Tanzania after her daughter Nikita was a patient at The Christies young oncology unit.

Regina Coulon climbed Kilimajaro in Tanzania after her daughter Nikita was a patient at The Christies young oncology unit.

A Blackpool mum has raised £4,700 for the hospital which gave lifesaving treatment to her daughter by climbing one of the world’s highest mountains.

Regina Coulon climbed 19,341 ft high Kilimanjaro in January to raise money for The Christie hospital in Manchester, where her daughter Nikita was a patient on its young oncology unit.

Nikita Coulon, now 25, of Seventh Avenue, South Shore was a dance teacher when she was diagnosed with the bone cancer osteosarcoma in June 2012.

She underwent six cycles of intensive chemotherapy as an inpatient at The Christie followed by an eight-hour operation at a hospital in Birmingham to remove the tumour from inside her right shinbone.

Regina, 50, also of South Shore, said: “I heard about the trek through friends and when Nikita finished her treatment it would be something I really wanted to do to raise money for the young oncology unit at The Christie.

“Nikita encouraged me and I’m so pleased she did because it was an incredible experience.”

Regina, who also works in the dance industry, said it was a struggle to cope with the altitude and breathing during the climb, but said the experience was “amazing”.

“The views were incredible and I felt thoroughly exhilarated at the end of each day,” she added. “The final push to the summit was really hard – you’re walking 12 hours non-stop to reach the top. It was tough and they were really long days but so worth it.”

Nikita finished her treatment in March last year, but still attends regular check-ups. She is working towards returning to work.

Nikita, who spent her 24th birthday on the unit at The Christie, has spoken of her experience of cancer.
She said: “Obviously it’s horrible for anybody to hear a diagnosis of cancer whoever it is, whatever age you are. I just think that people don’t expect for people to get it at such a young age. Especially me as a dancer you don’t think that a pain in your leg is going to turn out as bone cancer. Staff on the young oncology unit at The Christie were just fantastic with me and my family.”

 

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