A STROUD woman is to walk over 100km after her dad's cancer diagnosis. 

Laura Kerby will walk around the Isle of Wight in April to raise money for the largest men’s health charity, and the organisation she leads, Prostate Cancer UK. 

Laura, alongside her trusty team ‘The Cheeserollers’, will scale the highs and lows of the Isle of Wight’s picturesque coastal path as part of the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge on April 29 and 30. 

With a career spent in the world of healthcare, the 53-year-old has dedicated the past eight years of her working life to the fight against cancer.

Laura also has a close personal connection to the cause, as her own father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

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While Laura had years of experience working with people affected by cancer, a diagnosis so close to home had a seismic impact on her life and career. 

She said: “Dad’s diagnosis was more profound than I ever imagined.

"Whilst I had good knowledge regarding the treatment and care of a variety of cancers, seeing first-hand the emotional challenges my dad experienced as part of his treatment journey, particularly during Covid, were hard for me and for my family.  

“Side effects of treatment, such as the incontinence some men like my dad experience, are difficult to deal with.

"Whilst our family were there to support him, not all men have support they can rely on, and that is why services like Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses are so crucial to helping men live well.” 

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Laura and her father share a love of many things, including taking on charity fundraising challenges.

And while they both share a love of football, they are divided when it comes to team loyalty.  

“My dad was born in London, but he lived for some time in Wolverhampton and so became a Wolves supporter,” Laura said.  

“However, I went a different route and instead took after my beloved grandfather who was an avid West Ham United supporter and used to take me to Upton Park as a child.

"There is a fair amount of banter between Dad and I on match days, but it's all in good spirits!” 

"Walking long distances is a great way to keep fit, without the impact on your joints that running has, and it also keeps you outdoors and enables you to re-connect with nature.

"I am looking forward to the sea views, costal climbs and hopefully blue skies of the Isle of Wight Ultra Challenge and hearing the inspiring stories of some of the other 2,000 walkers who are taking on this epic challenge too.” 

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