A BASINGSTOKE woman who defeated breast cancer with her perseverance is now at the final stage of preparation for the London marathon to raise money for a cancer charity.

Danielle Butler, 44, will be running her 15th career marathon next Sunday in support of cancer charity Breast Cancer Now.

Danielle received the news that she had grade 3, stage 2 invasive breast cancer in March last year - just as the country was shutting down.

Over the following eight months, Danielle faced 16 rounds of two different types of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, reconstruction surgery, and removal of seven of her twenty lymph nodes- all while continuing to work, and isolate with her husband Mark, daughter Charlotte, and son Ollie at their home on Poynings Crescent, Basingstoke. In December, she received the news that she is cancer-free, but then had three weeks of preventative radiotherapy and continue with chemotherapy tablet treatments during the next six months.

However, preparing for London Marathon has not been easy for this hard-worker.

“I’ve been a keen runner for over 16 years, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to run anywhere near the mileage I’d run in the past,” Danielle said.

“But I was determined to still get out and run when I could. Getting out for a 5k run a few times a week whilst I was going through chemo was really great.

“It helped me to keep a little fitness and was good for my mental health. There was one time when my husband, Mark, and I were out running, and the heavens opened. We were running through a physical storm as well as a huge storm in our life.

Basingstoke Gazette: Danielle training for the marathon Danielle training for the marathon

“After my mastectomy I was on a 12-week running ban. I had already made a decision by then that I was going to run the deferred London Marathon. By this time, I was cancer free, but was still recovering from my surgery, as well as going through 3 weeks of radiotherapy.

“I also had to take six months; worth of preventative chemo tablets. Although I had started running a little bit further whilst taking the chemo tablets, I had to stop running during the last few cycles of tablets as the soles of my feet were so sore because of a side effect.”

So, Danielle’s training for London Marathon officially started at the end of June.

“If I’m totally honest I wasn’t even sure at this stage that I would be able to run the marathon,” she recalled.

“Every run was so tough and I couldn’t imagine being able to run the distance. But I persevered with my training plan which consisted of a short run, a medium run and a long run, as well as a weekly bike ride and Pilates class.”

She will be running with her husband, who has been her rock throughout the whole ordeal.

Danielle added that this marathon will not be about pace, but putting a finish line on what has been a hugely challenging 18 months in her life and raising money for an incredible charity.

If you wish to contribute to Danielle’s fundraiser, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TeamButlersJourney