22 Jun 2019 10:00
Published on: 8/5/19, 8:47 pm
Michelle is joining Bedford’s Pretty Muddy event on the 22nd June – a date which has extra special meaning for her. It was her expected due date.
The 28-year-old was eleven weeks’ pregnant with her second child when her dad, Peter Kingsnorth, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She then went for her 12-week scan and found out that her baby had died at six weeks.
Michelle, 28, from Little Stanion, said: “Within the space of a week at the same hospital - Kettering General - I’d been told my dad had days to live and that my baby had no heartbeat. “I went from the maternity ward to my dad’s ward to tell him the bad news. We cried together and he held my hand. I lost my baby on the 7th of December and my dad six weeks later. I never thought I’d be the person going through something like this.”
But Michelle, who is mum to Harper, aged 4, says she is determined to turn the devastating events into something positive by supporting Race for Life and fundraising for vital research. She’s calling on local people to follow her lead and raise money for Cancer Research UK. She hopes by sharing her story she will encourage others to join one of the Race for Life taking place in Bedfordshire this summer.
Michelle said: “It’s going to be a very difficult day for me. I’ve done Pretty Muddy every year for the past five years but, until now, I’ve never had anyone to do it for. I never thought I’d have a name on my t-shirt and never thought it would be my dad. When I cross the finishing line, it will be overwhelming.”
Peter was 68 when he died. A former staff sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, he’d been shot at several times during his postings in Belfast and Germany and had been medically retired. He’d also survived numerous heart attacks and two triple heart bypasses and received pioneering surgery at Papworth Hospital, featuring in a Sky News documentary and on ITV News. Doctors initially thought his breathlessness in November was connected to his heart problems. But a blood test revealed he had leukaemia and he was too poorly to undergo chemotherapy. Michelle said: “After everything he went through - getting shot and surviving numerous heart attacks - it was cancer that finally took him.”
Michelle is taking part with her friends Nina and Kirsty, who are running to honour their nan and cousin who are cancer survivors. They are all volunteering as helpers at their local Race for Life event in Corby too. “I couldn’t have got through the events this year without them,” said Michelle. “Race for Life was always just fun for me; now it’s got a whole other meaning. Cancer hadn’t affected me until what happened to my dad; I took things for granted. I’m turning my grief to something positive and getting out there to fundraise and share my story, just in case it helps others - even one person.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.
This year, for the first time, Cancer Research UK is inviting everyone in the area – women, men and children - to join the Race for Life.
The money raised at events like Race for Life supports life-saving research. Thanks to everyone who raises money at events like Race for Life, Cancer Research UK is able to fund research to fight 200 types of cancer.
The good news is more people are surviving the disease than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.
22 Jun 2019 10:45
22 Jun 2019 11:45
23 Jun 2019 11:00
23 Jun 2019 11:00
A video about Michelle is available for online: