“It was just a tiny red dot” Dagenham cancer survivor backs new campaign

Catherine Goddard had cancer eight years ago and is now supporting a new Cancer Research UK scheme t

Catherine Goddard had cancer eight years ago and is now supporting a new Cancer Research UK scheme to get people fundraising. - Credit: Archant

It was just a small, pinprick-sized red dot on her leg, but Catherine Goddard decided to get it checked out.

Her precaution was worth it - two weeks later she was having a cancerous tumour removed.

The 41-year-old had always been cautious about getting anything unusual seen by a doctor after her mother passed away from breast cancer 16 years ago.

And being quite freckly, the mum-of-one from Dagenham was particularly aware of her skin.

“I saw a tiny red dot on a freckle and after about a week it was still there so I went to my GP and he said it looked okay but let’s get it checked out. Because I had lost my mum to cancer she made us very aware of checking ourselves for the slightest little thing. It didn’t hurt, it didn’t bleed, it just wasn’t normal.

“They removed it and within two weeks I had major surgery to my right leg. They made a 5cm hole and I lost a lot of nerves and muscle and had to have many skin grafts.”

Catherine, who manages Gallions Reach shopping centre in Newham, needed no further treatment like chemotherapy because they had contained it but she had to have physiotherapy and still has a slight mobility issue.

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“But it could have been a whole lot worse,” she said.

That was eight years ago and she has supported Cancer Research UK since, and is now backing a new fundraising campaign, The IN Thing.

The campaign is urging women across London to rally their girlfriends together for a fun night in and to donate the money they would have spent on a night out to life-saving research.

“Ladies don’t need an excuse to have the girls round, and this will drive them to do a bit more,” said Catherine.

“So many people are affected by cancer and this is so easy to, it’s a great way to give back.”