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Page last updated at 07:12 GMT, Thursday, 20 May 2010 08:12 UK

Sharon Fox talks about her Cancer Centre in Tamworth

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Sharon Fox spoke with WM's Phil Upton about the effect cancer has had on her, and how it led her to form the Sharon Fox Cancer Centre.

The Tamworth facility is purpose built, opening in October 2010, offering support and advice as well as services such as wig fitting.

Diagnosis

In March 2009 she was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer, months after originally getting the all clear from a test on a growth under her arm.

She underwent a single mastectomy - with another booked in - and then faced six months of chemotherapy. During that time she had to go back into hospital three times. She then had three weeks radiotherapy and is currently taking herceptin.

While fighting cancer she felt that there wasn't enough of a range of help for sufferers and she was having to travel across to Goodhope Hospital for holistic treatment. That's when she got the idea for the centre.

In the time that followed, along with charity events such as shaving her head, she underwent chemotherapy, which she describes as the most difficult aspect, stating: "The thought of having poison in your body weekly was the hardest thing."

Sharon, who has seven children, also spoke of the concern for her family and making sure that her planned wedding still went ahead. While her soon to be husband already knew of the cancer, telling her children was an issue: "It was quite hard to explain to the older ones; I was diagnosed on my daughter's 18th birthday.

"A lot of girls might have the gene so you have to say to them they may need to get some kind of testing."

Holistic centre

Following her successful recovery, Sharon felt the need to help others with cancer, and following a meeting with 19 other women at Center Parcs, she put in the ground work on a 'holistic' cancer centre, as most of the recovery available was linked to hospitals.

The main advice she gave to current patients was: "I would stay as upbeat as you can. Drink plenty of water and have some nice rest time."

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