A brave mum-of-two battling cervical cancer is urging other women to have regular smear tests.
Terri Oakley, of Grassmoor, was diagnosed in January and further tests found the cancer had spread.
The 38-year-old, who has two children aged seven and three, said she delayed going for a smear test due to having other priorities – but is now determined to make sure other women do not make the same mistake.
She said: “You have to think to yourself ‘is the reason I am putting it off really worth it?’ Life is the biggest gift of all and whatever priorities you have, they are nothing compared to life.”
Terri went to get checked out at the end of last year after losing a lot of blood.
Sadly, she was found to have cervical cancer and it has since spread.
But Terri remains hopeful that she will beat the disease and starts chemotherapy later this month.
And despite facing a big battle of her own, she is determined to try and help other women. She will be taking part in a charity head shave for Macmillan Cancer Support on March 6 and is aiming to raise £300.
Since her diagnosis, Terri said eight people she knows have gone for smear tests after she encouraged them to go along.
“I’ve had to accept the possibility of the worst outcome –leaving my children due to the complications of this disease,” Terri said. “But, in doing so, I’m staying true to the way my friends and family best know me, and if I should fall because of this illness, I’ve found solace knowing that on the way I can help save many by spreading the message ‘stay up to date with your smear tests’.
“I need to be strong and make this as easy as possible for my children, and although there is a very high chance that I will come out of this on top, I am truly spending everyday with them as if the clock is running out. I hope I can encourage healthy people to spend time with their loved ones in the same manner, because you never know when life can change in an instant.”
She added: “I always think there is a reason for something. In anything you do you can make it a positive and this is what I am trying to achieve.”
If you would like to make a donation to Terri’s fundraising, visit bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/terri-oakley