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Julia Fenton to host coffee and cake afternoon
2:10pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
A WOMAN who battled cancer and defied doctors who told her she only had a five per cent chance of survival is to host a coffee and cake afternoon in Radlett in support of Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
Julia Fenton was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1999, aged just 24.
At the time, she was working for a PR company in London, and even when she lost more than six stone in weight and developed a hacking cough, she did not visit the doctor - until she noticed a huge lump on her neck.
A biopsy revealed that she had Hodgkin’s disease, and so she underwent treatment at the Macmillan Suite in Northwick Park Hospital.
A scan at the end of her therapy showed that there had been no improvement in her condition, so doctors decided to give her a different chemotherapy treatment and increase the dosage.
Mrs Fenton, 37, said: "It was during this period when my immune system was very poor that I developed a form of meningitis and was isolated.
"They stopped treating the cancer and had to concentrate on this brain disease which had left me like a cabbage in a bed.
"After a month something within snapped and my spirit was fighting back - no way was this brain disease going to distract me from my cancer battle.
"A month of rehab consisted of learning to walk, write and talk again. I was now getting back to the original matter in hand: my cancer.
"Doctors told me that on paper there was only a five per cent chance of survival, this was resting on the final option of two stem cell transplants at Hammersmith Hospital.
"But after the specialist met me, saw my attitude and determination - he upped my survival chance to 20 per cent."
Following two transplants, Mrs Fenton was released from hospital, but her cancer came back in 2002. Doctors told her they would not be able to cure her cancer, but could manage it through bimonthly injections for 18 months.
During this time, Mrs Fenton started fundraising for Macmillan, going to the Houses of Parliament to meet MPs and giving talks at various events.
In 2011, a scan showed there was no sign of Mrs Fenton’s cancer, and remarkably, she was given the all clear.
She said: "Like all other patients I started to get rather bored in isolation so I decided to volunteer my services to Macmillan Cancer Relief.
"I decided from the start that the cancer was not going to be the dictator.
"I’ve stuck to this decision and now I live life to full and beyond. It’s so important that MacMillan are here today, right now, helping people from the moment of diagnosis through their whole journey.
"And it’s vital that Macmillan stays to shape cancer care for the future."
To show her support for Macmillan Cancer Support, Mrs Fenton will host a coffee and cake afternoon for friends and family on Sunday in Radlett.
There will be face painting, a raffle, the traditional "guess the weight of the cake" and other games.