Footballer mum to launch charity calendar in bid to raise money for services that supported her

Charlene Martin, only discovered she had cancer after falling pregnant with her daughter

Charlene Martin, only discovered she had cancer after falling pregnant with her daughter - Credit: Archant

A woman from St Ives, who is currently having cancer treatment, is to release a charity calendar.

Charlene Martin, 33, thought she was just having pregnancy symptoms, after announcing the due date of her daughter Ava in September 2016, however, after weeks of bleeding and feeling tired, she mentioned it to her doctor, and was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in March 2017.

Charlene said: "My GP eventually referred me for an endoscopy test, and I had a flexi-sigmoidoscopy in March 2017 and then a colonoscopy a month later. It was there that they found a tumour, and further scans confirmed that it had spread to my liver.

"I had bowel resection surgery in May 2017, liver surgery two months later followed by 12 months of FOLFOX chemo. In the mean time I had my daughter. I was unable to lift anything heavy and not even able to hold my baby from nine months old to when she had turned one. The chemo gave me terrible neuropathy, nausea, acid reflux, diarrhoea and terrible skin."

The mother of four, has now been in treatment for two years. Her bowel is now clear but her liver and left lung still have the disease.

She is now doing everything she can to raise awareness for the disease, and is set to release a charity calendar to help raise money for Bowel Cancer UK and the Maggies Centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. The creation of the calendar is taking place on July 21 at Huntingdon Town Football Club.

Charlene said: "Football has played a major part in my journey. I've been a player for St Ives Town FC for the last four seasons and they have supported me through my treatment allowing me to play/train as and when I feel well. Exercise is good for both my physical health and my mental health and I don't know where I would be without my club/managers and team mates.

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"All money raised will be donated to Bowel Cancer UK and Maggies Centre, Cambridge. We are still looking for the following, who may be willing to donate their time, make-up artists and someone willing to provide some refreshments for the participants on the day. Sponsor for the cost of printing the calendar would be amazing but I'm willing to pay for this out of my own pocket to allow us to give something back to the charities that support me."

The calendar will be available to purchase in September. To find out more visit Bowel Cancer Baller on Facebook.