A Widdrington woman has achieved a significant weight loss after beating cancer.
And Laura Gibbon is now training for the Great North Run to raise funds for good causes.
She has lost five stone, nine-and-a-half pounds, in just 35 weeks after joining Slimming World in September 2016.
The 30-year-old said that although her weight was always in the back of her mind, it had never really bothered her that much.
In March last year, Laura’s life changed forever when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Thankfully, after undergoing surgeries and six rounds of chemotherapy, she was told in September that her body was now cancer free.
She said a few weeks later that she feels she has been given a second chance and she then started the process of tackling her weight after being left four stone heavier and unable to walk very far without being out of breath.
Laura, who is married to Andrew and mum to Dylan and Amelia, said: “I knew things had to change and my decision was to join my local Slimming World group.
“The group was very welcoming and I quickly felt comfortable. I lost 10.5lb in my first week just eating loads of lovely healthy food.
“My energy levels increased dramatically and I was able to do more.
“Food optimising is the definitely the key. I enjoy my food and I can still have all my favourites like spaghetti bolognese, chips and curries.
“The group is so supportive and motivating. Although I have more weight to lose, I am heading into this summer a much happier, confident person.”
As well as raising awareness of ovarian cancer and the signs to look for, she is now training hard for the Great North Run.
The charities that will benefit from her participation in the half-marathon include Maggie’s, which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
Monica Stewart, who runs the Widdrington group, says: “I’m so very proud of Laura. She is an inspiration to our group and after such an emotional and stressful 2016, she was so chuffed to win our group Miss Slinky Competition in November.”
The Widdrington Slimming World group is held every Wednesday at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Grange View Church of England First School. For more information, call Monica on 07912 056989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org