A STONEHOUSE women is taking part in a challenge with her furry friend to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Bryony Stocking from Stonehouse,is taking part in a challenge to walk 43 miles this September with her furry friend Bertie to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Bryony was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer in 2020, resulting in a major bowel re-section and chemotherapy.

Following treatment, Bryony bought Bertie as a puppy to get her back on her feet again and she is a major part of her cancer journey and recovery.

She said: "I started getting pain during the pandemic but the GP wouldn’t see me personally as a result.

"The pain eventually got so bad I was screaming.

"It felt like contractions.

"This is when I decided to go to A&E and that’s how my cancer journey began.

“The disease is complex and there are a range of symptoms. Some find blood in their stools or have a lump in their stomach.

"Mine was a total mass that almost caused perforation to the bowel.

“As I was having chemotherapy during the pandemic, I had to stay inside as I was at high risk of catching Covid-19.

"The chemotherapy caused neuropathy in my hands and feet, and I got plantar fasciitis in both feet due to being confined indoors. Over the last two years, I’ve had steroid injections, and two rounds of shockwave therapy on my feet and the pain has stabilised but not gone.

“I ordered Bertie during a chemotherapy session, texting a breeder recommended from family friends.

"During my chemotherapy sessions, I started buying baskets, leads, toys galore for my new furbaby.

"Bertie arrived a week after the chemotherapy ended, and although I had constant pain in my feet, I had to walk her, be mobile, be present and be her mum.

"She is single handedly the best thing that happened to me.

“Walkies together is such a great initiative to celebrate (hopefully) three years free from the disease. My best friend and her nana will join me.

"We will be walking a lot of the Cotswold trails, taking Bertie places she can go swimming.

"I’m also hoping to climb Pen Y Fan to get a challenge in on both my fitness and on my feet."

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