Welwyn Garden City mum beats cancer and jumps on stage to support a charity
PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:02 12 July 2017
A Welwyn Garden City mum who has just survived cancer is urging people who have a life-threatening illness to make use of a local charity that provided her with something positive during a dark time.
Single mum Ruth Smith, 37, of Howicks Green, was looking forward to 2016 as she had quit her job so that she could spend quality time with her daughters while focusing on their health, but was diagnosed with cancer just days later.
Ruth found a lump in her breast on January 7 and was later diagnosed with grade three invasive aggressive breast cancer triple negative in the beginning of February.
Since then Ruth’s battle has been up and down with 16 rounds of chemotherapy, while being there for her daughters Betsy, eight, and Beatrix, nine.
Recently Ruth received the news that she has no active cancer cells in her body and is all clear from the disease.
On Sunday, July 16, Ruth is going on stage at Folk by the Oak to talk about Welwyn Garden City-based charity Willow.
Willow was founded in 1999 by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter, Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs, as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged just 31.
The charity aims to provide people who have a life-threatening illness with a Special Day to give them and their loved ones a break from the realities of their diagnosis and treatment.
Ruth said: “My Ddad told me about Willow but I wasn’t sure it was for someone like me.
“Even though I did have cancer and a life-threatening illness I guess I just thought there’s always someone worse off.
“I didn’t know whether I qualified or not but I gave them a call and they were amazing, it couldn’t have been easier.
“I knew straight away I wanted to do something with my children and my mum who had been my rock.
“It’s not just me that had suffered, it affected us all.”
The family chose to use their Special Day to go to Windsor Castle which included an overnight stay which took place just after Ruth had finished her treatment.
Ruth added: “It was something positive and exciting for us to look forward to and a wonderful way to celebrate the end of my chemotherapy.
“It was so good for us all to get away and enjoy ourselves, each other’s company, without worrying about the next appointment. “Everything was done for us and Willow was amazing.
“I even took part in a fundraising fashion show at John Lewis recently and that’s something I would never have done before cancer.
“Life is too short to live in fear.”
If you are unsure if you are eligible for a Special Day, you can talk to the Willow team by contacting 01707 259 777 or applying for one by visiting https://www.willowfoundation.org.uk/have-special-day/apply.