Brave Lesley vows to Moonwalk

FOR seven years Lesley Back has been battling cancer - but today her bravery knows no bounds as she gears up to take part in a gruelling charity walk.

Annie Davidson

FOR seven years Lesley Back has been battling cancer - but today her bravery knows no bounds as she gears up to take part in a gruelling charity walk.

Despite enduring seven rounds of chemotherapy in her battle against the illness she has decided to take part in the London Moonwalk which sees walkers covering the same distance as the marathon but through the night.

The event on May 16 raises funds for breast cancer charities and is sponsored by Playtex, with all the participants wearing decorated bras.

Mrs Back said: “Six of us from my work applied to do the moonwalk and I was the only one who got a place.

“I am pretty good at setting myself goals and everyday when I get up I have to have a purpose even if it just a trip to the library.

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“But I am also realistic and I am not going to say I will finish the moonwalk.

“Some of the drugs I have taken have affected my hands and feet and they can be painful - but I am not going to be put off trying.”

Mrs Back of Cavendish Street, Ipswich, first discovered she had breast cancer after attending her first mammogram appointment, a routine screening offered to all women in the UK aged 50 or over.

The diagnosis in February 2002 was followed by a lumpectomy and the removal of lymph nodes which found the cancer had spread. It is now in her liver and her lung.

But determined to be positive, the mum-of-two has got on with life, taking part in the fundraising Race for Life every year and learning to horse ride.

The grandmother-of-one, who lives with her partner Glenn Minton, said that she had been devastated by the many setbacks she had suffered but always thought positively.

She said: “The point I always come from is that I am living with it (cancer) and not dying from it.

“The fact is that when you are diagnosed with cancer and they catch it early enough they can cure it.

“Unfortunately in my case it had already spread but that does not mean an immediate death knell.”

And she revealed she had made the brave decision to stop chemotherapy for three months regardless of the results of her latest CT scan this week.

She said: “I have got to give my body a break even if the cancer is still growing or even if it's not.”

Mrs Back said she would spend the time doing the moonwalk, going to Venice with Mr Minton and visiting her son, John, at his home in Thailand.

Anyone wanting to sponsor Mrs Back can contact her by email at

- Are you taking part in the Moonwalk? Contact the Evening Star newsroom on 01473 324788 or email

THE Moonwalk came from an idea 12 years when New Yorker Nina Barough and a group of friends walked the city's marathon wearing decorated bras and raised �25,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

By the following year, Nina had herself being diagnosed with the disease and another group took part in the London Marathon to show their support.

In 1997, the first Moonwalk took place for a group of 25 women who had failed to get a place in the London Marathon.

Numbers grew until 65 of them took part in the walk setting off at midnight and the event has taken place every year since.

A moonwalk also takes place in Edinburgh and there are Sunwalks in Bristol and Newcastle.

Walk the Walk is now an official charity which has raised just over �44million since it started.

Nina Barough has received a number of awards and met the Prince of Wales dressed in a Madonna-style conical bra.